In Her Words

Letter from Lucille S. Spalding to Louise Knapp, February 13, 1942

Many nurses in the 21st General Hospital were graduates of the Washington University School of Nursing. The unit’s chief nurse and others maintained a correspondence with their friends and associates at the Nursing School to keep them abreast of news from the army unit. Some of the letters were published in the School’s Nurses Alumnae Association Bulletin.

In this letter, Lucille Spalding, chief nurse of the 21st General Hospital, relates to Louise Knapp, director of the Washington University School of Nursing, more details of the nurses’ first weeks of active duty at Ft. Benning, Georgia.

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Letter from Lucille Spalding to Louise Knapp, 2/13/1942, page 1

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February 13, 1942

My dear Miss Knapp
      All the girls join me in thanks for the candy and good wishes. The candy supply was getting a bit low so your gift is saving the day.
      We found that the best time to bring it out is just after drill each afternoon. Col. Cady is anxious for us to carry ourselves well and is putting us through the paces each afternoon. He is quite proud of his group and I know that he is expecting us to march from here in great

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Letter from Lucille Spalding to Louise Knapp, 2/13/1942, page 2

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style when the big moment comes.
      The girls are all on duty each morning 7 – 12, while the afternoons are devoted to drills, general discussions and talks by the various doctors regarding the organization of our particular hospital. Tomorrow afternoon we are going the to have the opportunity of seeing a Field Artillery Demonstration. Col. Cady and the others are simply wonderful to us.
      Last Monday when we visited the 2nd Armored Division, pictures were taken which will probably be released to the St. Louis papers.
      Many thanks for all your kindness to us.
              Lucille Spalding

P.S. I don't believe I asked you if you would save all the preliminary material which we used in

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Letter from Lucille Spalding to Louise Knapp, 2/13/1942, p. 3

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the organization. If I am still bent upon writing a thesis when this is over, it may be a good subject.