Mary B. Alexander, Civil War Nurse

Mrs. Mary B. Alexander - Civil War Nurse

Mrs. Mary B. Alexander – Civil War Nurse

The headstone of Mrs. Mary B. Alexander, Civil War nurse, Hampton National Cemetery, Hampton, Virginia. I came across this gravestone while studying the United States Colored Troops buried here, nestled amongst the soldiers of Section C. The inscription reads: “Mrs. Mary B. Alexander, Died at Fort Monroe April 22, 1865. A friend to the Union and to the Soldiers.”

On April 23, 1865, Brevet Major E. McClellan, Assistant Surgeon, U. S. Army, issued Special Order No. 71 at Fort Monroe, Virginia.

“It is with sorrow that I announce the death of Mrs. Mary B. Alexander, the much loved nurse of many a sick and wounded soldier in the Armies of the Union.

Nurse Alexander has been known to me since the commencement of this war. At the first battle of Bull Run she began her work, which has been nobly, patiently and untiringly carried out until this day. The soldier has lost one of his best friends.

It being her desire to be buried with the soldiers she loved so well, and that the Flag of her Country should cover her remains, it is therefore ordered:

That the funeral of Nurse Alexander take place to-morrow (Monday) at 10 o’clock A. M., from the Officers Division, and that she be buried with military honors.

As many of the Ward Officers and attendants as can be absent without detriment to the Hospital work, are ordered to be present.

E. McClellan
Asst. Surgeon, U. S. Army,
In Charge Hospital


Source: “Mollus-Mass Civil War Photograph Collection Volume 82,” U. S. Army Heritage and Education Center, U. S. Army Heritage and Education Center Digital Collections ( accessed April 28, 2014), U. S. General Hospital letter, “Death of Mary B. Alexander,” p. 4122L, crediting the “United States Army War College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania.”