Susie King Taylor's extraordinary life is captured in her memoir, one of the most detailed accounts ever written by a woman about life in a Civil War camp.
When Susie King Taylor was born in 1848, it was illegal to educate African Americans in Georgia but she learned to read and write thanks to a secret school. That gift of literacy would allow her to become a trailblazing teacher in her teens and, later, the first Black Army nurse during the U.S. Civil War; an experience she shared in her remarkable memoir about life in a Union camp. Today, more than a century later, her words show her fortitude and determination to make a contribution to the war effort. "I gave my service willingly for four years and three months without receiving a dollar," she wrote, adding that she was glad "to be allowed to go with the regiment, to care for the sick and afflicted comrades." Continue reading Continue reading