Although it was primarily a male occupation before the war, necessity demanded that thousands of women become nurses. The frequency of amputations, gruesome wounds, and naked male patients made nursing— especially wartime nursing—a potentially unfeminine prospect. North Carolinian Lucy Capehart, for example, explained
I never in my life could go to one [hospital], [and] never expect to unless I am compelled. Not that I am not willing to do everything I can for the Soldiers, but simply because I don't like so much mess, [and] so many different odours—it makes me sick to smell soldiers anyway. (Frank 2001, 148fn)
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