Nuns in the Spanish-American War

THE NUN IN THE WAR
The Rev. A.J. Bader Tells of the Good Work Accomplished by the Catholic Sisters.
The Brooklyn Eagle, May 20, 1899, 16.
 
The Queens’ Daughters of St. Mary’s Maternity held their last meeting for the season yesterday afternoon at the institution, 155 Dean street, and as the occasion was entirely a social one the members were joined by a number of friends. An address by the Rev. Albert J. Bader of Manhattan, chaplain of the Twelfth Regiment, was the special feature of the afternoon’s programme, which included also some excellent instrumental and vocal sections.
 
Father Bader’s subject was “The Catholic Nun in the War,” and before beginning his scheduled address he made some humorous remarks on the possible consequences of speaking too freely in public, citing Captain Coghlan of the Raleigh as an example. The true history of the late war, he continued, had not been told and the half was not known. When the real history was set forth it would record a great work done by the sister in behalf of the sick and suffering. In this respect the speaker emphasized the splendid work accomplished by the sisters at Camp Americus, Ky.; Americus, Ga.; and at Matanzas and of the high esteem in which these nurses were held by both officers and men. He spoke eloquently and in a very interesting way and related a number of pathetic, humorous or exciting incidents that had come under his observation as a chaplain with the New York volunteers. He was listened to with close attention.
 
Mrs. M. Galway introduced Father Bader and in behalf of the assemblage tendered him a vote of thanks at the close of his address. Father Bader is one of the two Manhattan priests who volunteered their services as chaplains early in the war and served without pay for some time, when, at the request of the officers and men of the Twelfth Regiment, he was regularly appointed as their chaplain. He is at present stationed at Tuxedo Park.
 
The musical numbers consisted of  several finely rendered and mandolin selections by Vincent Fanelli and Leon Vincent; soprano solos, by Miss Estelle Richardson, who sang very acceptably an Irish folk song, “I cannot help loving thee;” Clayton Johns sang “Ave Maria,” Bach-Gounod, with harp accompaniment, and contralto solos were sung by Miss Anna Grace Murphy of Manhattan, who possesses an unusually fine voice. Her selections were “Stride La Vampa,” from “Trovatore;” “Where the Lindens Bloom,” Dudley Buck.
 
And at the conclusion of the exercises the members and their guests remained for a social hour during which refreshments were served. Mrs. M. Galway, president; Mrs. George H. Dallon, vice president, and Mrs. T.J. Boland, secretary, acted as the reception committee.
 
The Queen’s Daughters have been organized nearly ten years and the season just closed is the most successful and satisfactory in their existence. The active members now number sixty-five and through their efforts valuable assistance has been given the Sisters of Charity in charge of the maternity hospital and nursery. The benefit matinee given for the institution about a month ago netted a substantial addition to the treasury and will go far toward providing outings and visits to the sea shore and country for the sick and delicate children in the nursery. The society will resume work again in October.

About Pat McNamara
  • Dale

    What a welcome topic! We often recall the invaluable service which Catholic sisters provided during the US Civil War, but I rarely think about the Spanish American War.

    An article which was published in a magazine of the National Archives and Records Administration offers some insight about how Catholic sisters once again provided lifesaving aid and comfort during wartime.

    http://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/2002/fall/band-of-angels-1.html

    The US government requested from the Catholic orders as many trained nurses who could be spared. Around 250 were sent, most from the Sisters of Charity (now the Daughters of Charity.) The article summarizes the experiences of the sisters from each different order.


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