Nothing will deter persistent, inquisitive Mary Sutter from realizing her dream of becoming a surgeon. Already a skilled midwife but with no immediate prospect of being apprenticed as a surgeon, Mary leaves home to nurse the wounded at the outbreak of the Civil War. Not even the horrendous and life-threatening unsanitary conditions of the Union hospitals, the suffering of the maimed and dying, or the urgent pleas from her family to come home will sway Mary from her goal. Mary is no beauty, but her competent, compassionate nature earns her the love and admiration of the young men in her care and of the two doctors who teach her. Finally, amid the carnage and because of the sheer number of amputations that need to be performed, Mary is allowed to perform surgeries.
My Name Is Mary Sutter offers an exceptional and often graphic perspective of war, that of the perseverance of nurses during a nation’s crisis, and is recommended reading for the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War.