Friday, November 16, 2007
Mary O'Connell (also known as Sister Anthony) (1814-1897) was a Roman Catholic nun. Her work with the wounded during the American Civil War and health care in general caused her to be known as "the angel of the battlefield" and "the Florence Nightingale of America."
O’Connell was born in Limerick, Ireland in 1814. She immigrated to the United States, and joined the American Sisters of Charity in St. Joseph's Valley, and took the name of Sister Anthony. She was an active nurse during the Civil War, serving at Camp Dennison, and the battlefields of Winchester, Virginia, the Cumberland Gap, Tennessee, Richmond, Virginia, Nashville, Tennessee, Gallipolis, Ohio, Culpeper Court House, Virginia, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee, Lynchburg, Virginia, and Stone River, Tennessee.
In recogntion of her service during the Civil War, in 1873, two citizens of Cincinnati purchased the U.S. Marine Hospital for Sister Anthony. She also received recognition for her work in the yellow fever epidemic of 1877. Sister Anthony retired from active live in 1880, and died in 1897.