Woman of the Century/Susan E. Barry
SUSAN E. BARRY. BARRY, Mrs. Susan E., army nurse, born in Minisink, Orange county, N. Y., 19th March, 1826. Her maiden name was Hall. Her parents were natives of Orange county, and after forty years' residence on the old farm the family removed to Tompkins countv. N. V., near Ithaca. The care of the home fell upon Susan from the age of eighteen to thirty. W hen the farm was given up, after her mother's death, because her father was too infirm to care for it sin- went to New York City and became a medical Student, She attended the lectures and studies in the college of a four-year course, graduating in the spring of 1861, just at the breaking out of the war. A mass meeting was called at Cooper Union to devise ways and means to help the Union soldiers, The Sanitary Commission was formed. The Ladies' Central Relief Association of New York had been organized. Women were called to volunteer as nurses. Miss Hall gave in her name. The volunteers were required to pass strict examination, then they were admitted to Bellevue and the city hospitals to receive practical instructions. Miss Hall's two months spent in preparatory instruction proved invaluable in her army work. The volunteer nurses received orders 22nd July. 1861, to proceed to Washington and report to Miss Dorothy Dix for duty. When they arrived, all was confusion in the city, with main conflicting reports of the battle and defeat at Bull Run. Miss Hall and her companions received a kind welcome from the surgeon in charge of the Seminary Hospital in Alexandria. These women took turns in doing all the watching at night, with no help except a few contrabands to wait on the men. The nurses who had most experience in wound dressing and in the treatment of surgical cases were always hurried off to the front after battles. Miss Hall and her associate. Miss Dada, after eight months in Alexandria, were sent to Winchester, Ya. Later they were sent to Strasburg. and thence they were transferred to Harper's Ferry, next to Annapolis Naval Hospital, then to Georgetown. I). C, Warehouse Hospital, which was tilled with wounded from the battle of Cedar Mountain. After that came the battle of Antietam, and Miss Hall and six other women nurses, with Miss Dix, were on hand before the dead were buried. Later Miss Hall was again called to Harper's Ferry. The hospitals were crowded, and she remained during the winter. She was next ordered to Gettysburg, immediately after the terrible battle. After several months in that busy field, she was transferred to the Western Department and was assigned to duty in Nashville, and later sent to Murfreesborough. She stayed there seven months, and then went to Chattanooga where she remained till the close of the war, having served the entire period without a furlough. Miss Hall's health was permanently impaired by her long continued labors, and returning home she spent the winter in Dr. Jackson's Sanitarium in Dansville, N. Y., for rest and treatment. In May, 1866, she was married to Robert Barry, of Chicago. After their marriage they went to California, making their permanent home in San Francisco. Mrs. Barry has not regained strength sufficient to engage in professional or public work.