Saturday, May 1, 2010
Isabella Fogg, a seamstress from Calais, Maine, was one of the first Maine women to volunteer as a nurse for Maine soldiers. After spending several months in Washington D.C. in 1861 and 1862 nursing fever-ridden soldiers, she returned to Maine to request supplies and support for her efforts. The appeal resulted in the creation of the Maine Camp Hospital Association, which became one the best organized Soldiers' Aid Societies in the North. She left Portland for the "Front" with supplies and Mrs. Harriet Eaton, the widow of the late minister of the Free Will Baptist Church in Portland. Arriving shortly after the battle of Antietam in the fall of 1862, their supplies and help were desperately needed. Together, not always in harmony, the pair did their best to help sick and wounded soldiers until shortly after the battle of Fredericksburg in 1863, when Harriet returned to Maine and the care of her children. Isabella Fogg continued to labor in the field, following the Army of the Potomac to which many Maine soldiers were attached. Colonel Joshua Chamberlain of the 20th Maine Infantry Regiment wrote, "I consider Mrs. Fogg one of the most faithful, earnest, and efficient workers in the humane cause in which she has been engaged for the last 3 years that I have ever seen in the field."