OCTOBER 15, 1899


In the mid-1890s, Roman Catholic Father Francis Craft founded the Congregation of American Indian Sisters.  By 1898, the Order had only 4 Lakota nuns.  Having learned nursing skills, the sisters–Susan Bordeaux, granddaughter of Chief Spotted Tail (Rev. Mother Mary Anthony), Josephine Two Bears (Rev. Sr. Mary Joseph); Ella Clarke (Rev. Sr. Mary Gertrude); and Anna B. Pleets (Rev. Mother Mary Bridget) served as Army nurses.  They were recommended because they were accustomed “to severe hardships, and privations . . . .”  Beginning October 18, 1898, they served at Division Hospitals in Jacksonville, Florida, and Savannah, Georgia, before arriving on December 22 at 2nd Division Hospital, Camp Columbia, Havana, Cuba.  In February 1899, they transferred to the Military Hospital in Havana where there their contracts were annulled.  Sometime thereafter, Bordeaux suffered an attack of pneumonia and died at Pinar del Rio, Cuba.  She was buried at Camp Egbert, Pinor del Rio, with full military honors.

Sources:  Mercedes Graf, “Band of Angels, Part 2: Sister Nurses in the Spanish-American War,” Prologue Magazine, National Archives, Fall 2002, Vol. 34, No. 3.  Retrieved 7/24/2020, 
 Martial Funeral for Mother Mary,” The Sunday Leader, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, 10/29/1899, p. 1.  Retrieved 7/24/2020, https://www.newspapers.com/clip/12809087/rev-mother-mary-anthony-funeral/
Photo:  Author unknown, 1898.  Public Domain.   

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