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Susan King Taylor, the first African American Army Nurse

Susie King Taylor was an African American nurse on the front lines of the Civil War. When Gen. Rufus Saxton began military recruitment of African American men, Taylor joined the 33rd U.S. Colored Infantry as a laundry worker. Traveling with the regiment, she witnessed combat and stepped in to serve as a nurse on the battlefield.


Tens of thousands of women, both enslaved and free, traveled to the battlefront of the Civil War. Enslaved women journeyed Union lines to free themselves. Once there, they joined northern women who came south to provide much-needed assistance. Women worked for the Army as nurses; they built fortifications and established schools. They also secured food, housing, employment, and medical care for themselves and others. Many of the schools and hospitals established still exist today.

Photo: Susie King Taylor, black educator and army nurse, Aug. 6, 1848 – Oct. 6, 1912.

BY NADINE DAHER in the Smithsonian Magazine

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SheVille Team

We are a one-of-a-kind magazine that provides local, regional, national and international information about women’s lives and education, performing and visual arts and writing, the environment, green living and sustainability and regional Western North Carolina business, people and events. “Villages preserve culture: dress, food and dance are a few examples. As villages grow in population and turn into towns, local cafes make way for large American chains. Handmade leather sandals are discarded for a pair of Western sneakers. Due to its small size, a village fosters a tight-knit sense of community. explains the meaning of the African proverb, “It takes a village,” by stating that a sense of community is critical to maintaining a healthy society. Village members hold a wealth of information regarding their heritage: they know about the ancient traditions, methods of production and the resources of the land. When villages become dispersed or exterminated in times of war, this anthropological knowledge disappears. Large cities are not as conducive to growing and producing foods such as fruits and vegetables. Villages, on the other hand, usually have ample amounts of land and other resources necessary for growing conditions.” The Importance of Villages by Catherine Capozzi Our Mission provides readers with information important to women’s lives and well-being. We focus primarily on the areas of education & health, business & finance, the arts & the environment. We are particularly interested in local & regional resources, organizations & events.

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