Friday, November 1, 2013

Maine and the Civil War - Catherine R. Springer

Memorial to the Ladies Union Aid Society in St. Louis built after the war.
   As we celebrate the Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War, please note that Catherine R. Springer, originally from Parsonsfield, did her part for the Union as an aid worker and nurse.  She is mentioned in both the History of Parsonsfield and Womans’ Work in the Civil War.

    Catherine was the daughter of Isaac  &  Hannah Redman Lord of Parsonsfield, Maine.  In 1855 she married a successful merchant named Nicholas Springer of St. Louis and moved there. She became known for helping soldiers, widows and orphans.  During the war she regularly visited the hospitals in St. Louis providing comfort and care to the sick and wounded soldiers.

   The Battle of Wilson's Creek in 1861 showed that military medical services on both sides were ill prepared and ill equipped to treat and transport wounded soldiers. Civilian social reformers organized relief societies based on models from the eastern United States. The Ladies' Union Aid Society (LUAS) provided medical supplies and services to Union soldiers, freedmen, orphans, and refugees.

   Catherine Springer was an active member of the Ladies’ Union Aid Society in St. Louis, from the date of its organization in August, 1861 to its final disbanding in October 1865. During the 4 years of its existence, Catherine  Springer performed varied and useful tasks on behalf of the soldiers and their families.

   L.P. Brockett wrote, in Woman's Work in the Civil War (1867) , that Mrs. Springer  "has been among its most diligent workers. In the winter of 1862 the society took charge of the labor of making up hospital garments. She superintended the whole of this important work during that winter, in which 127,500 garments were made.”

If anyone knows anything more about this branch of the Lord family or Catherine Lord Springer, please let us know.

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