Beyond All Price
To escape a life of poverty and degradation, 23-year-old Nellie Chase volunteers as a nurse with the 100th Pennsylvania Roundhead Regiment during the American Civil War. Although has no formal nursing experience, Nellie’s character and skills quickly convince Colonel Daniel Leasure to promote her to the position of regiment matron in charge of assisting the doctors and overseeing the other female volunteers. Nellie faithfully serves with the Roundheads until gossip, supposition, and illness force her to leave her post. Not easily dissuaded, Nellie volunteers as a nurse for the New York Highlanders, and, through a subsequent series of jobs, eventually becomes head matron of a 600-bed Tennessee hospital.
Based on the actual life of Nellie M. Chase and written by a retired Rhodes College history professor, Beyond All Price is as thoroughly well-researched as the gaps in the formal records of Chase’s life will permit. The book reads more like an interesting documentary than a fast-paced novel; however, readers interested in women’s roles during the Civil War will enjoy it.