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Excommunicated From the UnionHow the Civil War Created a Separate Catholic America$
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William B. Kurtz

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823267538

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823267538.001.0001

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Priests and Nuns in the Army

Priests and Nuns in the Army

(p.68) 4 Priests and Nuns in the Army
Excommunicated From the Union

William B. Kurtz

Fordham University Press

Over fifty priests served in the Union Army or in federal hospitals. Their service was important, for it was very difficult for Catholics in the nineteenth century to practice their faith fully without access to the church’s sacraments. The church’s hierarchy did not proactively seek to place priests in the army, and many Catholics were left without easy recourse to their religion as a result. By contrast, hundreds of nuns willingly volunteered their services to serve as nurses in Union and Confederate hospitals. Although distrusted by Dorothea Dix and others, they soon proved their worth and helped improve the image of American Catholicism through their tireless devotion to the wounded men in hospitals.

Keywords:   Catholicism, chaplains, nuns, nurses, priests, sacraments

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