Annie Etheridge

#Known for her courage in giving medicial help to the wounded on the battlefield as a part of the Michigan Volunteers, serving the regiment as a nurse. She was an expert horsewoman and at the start of the war she filled her saddle bags with lint and bandages and oftern rode through battles caring for the wounded. Her first-aid and nursing services were carried out with ranks the 2nd Michigan Regiment with the Army of the Potomac. When the 2nd Michigan was transferred to fight in the West, Annie stayed with the Army of the Potomac and joined the 3rd Michigan, serving it at the Battle of Chancellorsville and the Battle of Gettysburg, later joining the 5th Michigan. In the summer of 1864, General Grant ordered all women to leave the camps and lines, including Annie who had to leave the regiment . She didn't stop serving and joined the hospital service at City Point in Virginia. Annie Etheridge served to the end of the war and was presented the Kearny Cross, a decoration for bravery for enlisted men. Here are two pictures of Annie Etheridge during and after the Civil War.

The Committee on Pensions, to whom was referred the bill (S. 2884) granting a pension to Mrs. Anna Ethridge Hooks, have examined the same and report: The petitioner, whom it is proposed to pension in the accompanying bill, has distinguished herself in connection with the military service in a way that, in the opinion of the committee, entitles her to the consideration that she asks at the hands of Congress.

#During the entire war she was attached to and remained with the Second, Third, and Fifth Regiments of Michigan Volunteer Infantry, returning home with the Fifth Michigan Veterans, which was the Third and Fifth consolidated, in July, 1863. During all her protracted service she performed the duty of field and hospital nurse.

She was presented with an official list of the battles at which she was present in her humane capacity, from June 1861, to October, 1864, numbering twenty-eight in all, and including Bull Run, Yorktown, Fair Oaks, Malvern Hill, before Richmond, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, before Petersburg, Spottsylvania, and others. She was present on horseback and on foot, in the day-time and in the night-time. She was once wounded, and her clothing was often torn with bullets. Her value consisted in her devotion, in her endurance, in her skill in dressing wounds, in her kind care of suffering soldiers, which she did not withhold even from those who fought on the "other" side.

All this is attested to by hundreds of soldiers belonging to the regiments to which she was attached, whose names accompany the petitions to Congress, earnestly asking the passage of a special act for her relief; by numerous commissioned officers and surgeons, by distinguished commanders.

In his General Order No. 18, after congratulating the division on its recent successes, General Birney announced the name of this lady as one selected as a recipient of the "Kearney Cross", the division decoration; and it was presented in the presence of the whole division.

In a letter addressed to the Secretary of the Treasury General Hancock said:
I can only say, knowing the nature of her services to the soldiers during the war, that I consider her entitled to consideration.
The young lady’s services were on the field of battle, generally; a marked distinction, as the volunteer nurses usually confined their labors to the hospitals, not in the field.

Another letter from General Hancock, written in 1867, says:
I knew Mrs. Anna Ethridge when in or with the Army; she was with a regiment in my corps and came occasionally under my eye, and more frequently under my notice. Although I thought she had better have been at home, yet it was universally acknowledged that her services were valuable and disinterested; especially valuable, because it was well understood that she was respected by both officers and men, from the highest in rank to the lowest. She is entitled to all renumeration which precedents may have established as suitable in similar circumstances Winfield S. Hancock, Major-General, U. S. A.

The committee have in possession a large supply of similar testimony, but it is believed her claim is sufficiently established by what is here produced. The committee will only add that she is a lady of irreproachable reputation, that she has received no pecuniary compensation for the services described, and that she is in present need. The bill is herewith reported to the Senate with a recommendation that it do pass.

Woman's Work in the Civil War: A Record of Heroism, Patriotism, and Patience, 1867, Authors: L. P. Brockett, (Linus Pierpont), 1820-1893; Mary C Vaughan; Henry W. Bellows, (Henry Whitney), 1814-1882.

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