Presenter Information

Betty Ann McNeil D.C.


Betty Ann McNeil uses the words and experiences of five Daughters of Charity to illustrate the service of the 270 sisters who nursed wounded soldiers on both sides of the Civil War in Union and Confederate territory. According to McNeil, the sisters “crossed boundaries of locale, politics, and religion . . . for the sake of the Vincentian mission.” This included crossing army lines. They faced great personal danger and hardship and adapted their organization to meet ever changing wartime conditions in a variety of settings, including major battlefields. They also had to acclimate themselves to regional cultures. Despite the upheaval of the times—their motherhouse at Emmitsburg, Maryland was even subject to martial law—the sisters persevered in their service and opened many new missions.