Carrie E Cutter

28 November 2021

Daughter of the 21st Massachusetts Infantry’s Surgeon Calvin Cutter, Miss Carrie Eliza badgered her father into letting her accompany the regiment as a nurse (hospital matron on the rolls) on the North Carolina expedition of 1861-62. She tended sick and wounded soldiers up to her own death, of “spotted fever” aboard the transport Northener off New Bern on 24 March 1862.

Regimental historian Captain Charles F. Walcott called her “the Florence Nightingale of the 21st” and wrote of her

… aged nineteen years and eight months. Miss Cutter, an intellectual, refined, and delicate woman, the daughter of our surgeon, had embarked on the Northerner with us at Annapolis, and had accompanied the regiment since that time. A blessing to the regiment, she had bravely and patiently endured the discomforts of the crowded steamer – a thousand times greater to her, the only woman on board, than to any of us, and with constant, unremitting devotion had added her gentle, womanly care to her father’s wise and faithful energy in helping and nursing our sick and wounded men.

Her body was carried to Roanoke Island and buried by the side of that of her admired friend, Sergeant Charles Plummer Tidd, the heroic companion of John Brown, whose eyes she had closed so sadly during the battle of Roanoke Island.

This photograph is in the MOLLUS Massachusetts Collection now at the US Army Heritage & Education Center, Carlisle Barracks, PA.

Walcott’s History, source of the quote here, is online from the Hathi Trust.

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