Nursing in the Revolutionary War in NC


The Moravian Settlement at Wachovia (later Salem) organized the first nursing care in North Carolina. The Moravian settlers had a community “sick room”, a designated community doctor, and an appointed midwife and nurses.

Learn More: Moravian Settlement

  • State's first organized nursing started in 1772 by the Moravians of Wachovia. (1948, Nov 21). Durham Morning Herald. Durham, North Carolina.
  • Moore, M.L. (1969, Aug). Bright Spot in the 18th Century. American Journal of Nursing, 69(8), pp 1705-1709.
  • Wyche, M.L. (1938). The history of nursing in North Carolina. University of North Carolina Press: Chapel Hill, NC.

Revolutionary War, 1775-1783

According to Mary L. Wyche in her book "The History of Nursing in North Carolina" published in 1938, Mary Slocumb, Martha McFarland, Ann Jessup, Carolina Stewart, Karin Happarich and other women whose names have been lost to history, rendered nursing care to North Carolina patriot soldiers during the Revolutionary War.

Information about Quaker women who nursed soldiers in the Revolutionary War from the NC Museum of History:

  • Quaker and Moravian women, although pacifists, were heavily involved in the war. For example, after the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, Quaker women volunteered to nurse the wounded of both sides.
  • One Quaker woman, Hannah Blair, felt sympathy for the Patriot cause. She secretly helped those soldiers as much as she could without going against her religion. She provided food and medicine, hid the soldiers when necessary, carried secret messages, and mended uniforms. When the Loyalists found out, they burned her farm. After the war, the new government gave her formal thanks and a small pension for her wartime services.