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Local History by Dallas Bogan
One of Warren County's most heroic women, Amanda
, died at 6 o'clock on the morning of March 28, 1886, in her 65th year,
at Xenia, Ohio.
She was her usual active self until the night before when she suddenly became
terribly ill. All Lebanon was in a state of shock as well as the many soldiers
of the Civil War she had been in contact with.
was raised on a
Warren County farm and had, like many other farm children, no special advantages
other than those of an ordinary girl.
At the breaking out of the Civil War she had saved a little over $1,000, most
assuredly by the sweat of her brow.
Against the advice of her friends and relatives, she entered into the service
of her country by working in the hospital
as a nurse
. She found, however, that nurses were needed at the war front more
so than on the home front.
Aided by Thomas Corwin
, she obtained
from the Surgeon General a commission as a hospital nurse with orders to report
at once to the South.
Within a short time, she was in her new field of duty and, in the Chattanooga
and Lookout Mountain hospitals, her services were unparalleled. She was also involved
in the battles of Stones River, Chattanooga, Chickamauga, Nashville and Atlanta.
In the midst of engagement on the battlefield, with the shot and shells flying
about, she would be seen bandaging the wounded, closing the eyes of the dying,
and in every way, aiding "her boys," as she would call them.
In her hospital duties, she fought but was unable to receive from the Government
the many delicacies that were most essential in caring for "her boys."
Without hesitation, Amanda Stokes
took the thousand dollars she had laid back, and spent, not a small portion of
it, but the whole amount for the comfort of the soldiers.
Amidst everything else, a life-threatening incident happened to her on the march
to Atlanta. While crossing the Chattahoochee River, the horses pulling the ambulance,
in which Miss Stokes was riding, became unruly and the vehicle abruptly overturned.
She escaped from drowning by breaking a hole in the top of the ambulance with
her head, an injury that was of a permanent nature. All her goods and personal
belongings were swept away.
Her commission was also lost during the tragedy. She applied to the Surgeon General's
office for a duplicate and it was found that, through some gross negligence, neither
record nor copy had been made of the commission.
She returned to Lebanon after the war and resumed her previous work. Her head
injury, combined with her financial state, produced many hardships.
Her "boys" heard of these difficulties and rallied around her. Through
their efforts she was appointed Matron of the Ohio Soldiers and Sailors Orphans
Home at Xenia.
Her fashion of discipline was such that boys of defiance and misbehavior were
turned out into the world as completely well mannered and obedient.
She was a very powerfully built woman, but she never used her strength, except
upon isolated occasions, to discipline the children.
She was loved and respected by all who knew her.
Many attempts were made to obtain her pension she so rightfully deserved. It seemed
justice was not accessible until Hon. Henry L. Morey took the case. Supported
by Benjamin Butterworth, a most valiant effort was made, and a pension of eight
dollars a month was granted to her by a special Act of Congress.
She has not achieved any great honors in America's history, but has gone down
as one of Warren County's finest citizens.
In recognition of this fine and generous lady, the Daughters of America, in 1906,
named their lodge The Amanda Stokes
Council, No. 132, in her honor.
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This page created 14 September 2004 and last updated
3 December, 2009
© 2004 Arne H Trelvik
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