Mary Lucy Dosh

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Mary Lucy Dosh
Born Barbara Dosh
(1839-09-15)September 15, 1839
Luzerne County, Pennsylvania
Died December 29, 1861(1861-12-29) (aged 22)
Western Kentucky
Nationality American
Occupation Volunteer nurse
Years active 1860–1861

Mary Lucy Dosh (September 15, 1839 – December 29, 1861) was a Catholic nun in the order of the Sisters of Nazareth. She was a volunteer nurse in Western Kentucky during the American Civil War, caring for both Union troops and Confederate prisoners of war, and died in the course of duty from typhoid fever. In 2012, the United States Congress passed a resolution honoring Dosh's nursing care given to both Union and Confederate soldiers.

Early life and education

Barbara Dosh was born in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania.[1][2][3] She was orphaned at age 11 and she and her sister went to live in Louisville, Kentucky, with the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth.[1][2] Dosh's talent for music was recognized by Mother Catherine Spalding of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth and she went to St. Vincent in Union County, Kentucky, to study music.[1]

Dosh decided to join the order of the Sisters of Nazareth and took the name Sister Mary Lucy Dosh.[1] She went to Paducah, Kentucky, to teach music at St Mary's Academy in Union County.[1]

American Civil War

In 1861 Dosh volunteered as a nurse during the American Civil War in Western Kentucky.[4] She cared for both Union troops and Confederate prisoners of war at the Paducah Baptist Church.[1][2]

Death and legacy

While serving as a nurse, Dosh died of typhoid fever on December 29, 1861, a few months into the Civil War.[1] Her casket was carried on the U.S. gunboat Peacock up the Ohio River to Uniontown, Kentucky, under an order of truce with an escort of six Union soldiers and six Confederate soldiers.[1][5] She was buried in the St. Vincent Academy cemetery. In December, 2012 the United States Congress passed a resolution honoring Dosh's nursing care given to both Union and Confederate soldiers.[1][5][3]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Craig, Berry (February 19, 2010). "The Day the War Stopped in Kentucky". Hidden History of Kentucky in the Civil War. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 9781614231035. 
  2. ^ a b c "Sister Mary Lucy Dosh, Angel of the Fever Ward". Citizen's Companion. Retrieved December 13, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Doyle, Mary Ellen (December 1, 2006). Pioneer Spirit: Catherine Spalding, Sister of Charity of Nazareth. University Press of Kentucky. p. 259. ISBN 0813171318. 
  4. ^ "The True Story of Sister Mary Lucy Dosh". Retrieved December 13, 2016. 
  5. ^ a b "Women religious served vital roles in Civil War". The Record. April 9, 2015. Retrieved December 13, 2016. 

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