Civil War Diary of Esther Hill Hawks

Who is Esther Hill Hawks?

  • A native of Hooksett, living in Manchester, NH at the start of the Civil War
  • One of the USA’s first female doctors
  • An abolitionist… confronting her own deep-seated stereotypes about race
  • A volunteer teacher with the Freedmen of coastal South Carolina
  • A Civil War-era diarist
  • … and more!


Gerald Schwartz has edited this fine edition of Esther Hill Hawks’ Diary.

I first learned of EHH from Mike Pride’s book, “Our War”, which features a chapter about her work with wounded soldiers in the early colored regiments.[/caption]


CLICK to read any of the following selections from Esther’s diary:


2 responses to “Civil War Diary of Esther Hill Hawks”

  1. Thank you so much. This is wonderful material. I’m working on exemplars for the CCSS and this would be a wonderful way to prepare English Learners for the Book, a Woman Doctor’s Civil War. I love the cartoons. They help tell the story without over telling it. Just what the CCSS ordered. Are this going to be available in book form or just here?

    1. LYDIAESL —

      Thanks for your comments. I’m always interested to hear about ways teachers can use this material.

      As you’ve noticed, I’m keeping the artwork as simple and straightforward as I can so that it represents Dr. Hawks’ text as closely as possible. It does allow me to interpret and comment graphically on the text, but the overall intent is to leave the reader some room to do the same, and to make connections with the material that Dr. Hawks’ maybe didn’t include or even fully intend.

      There will be a collection eventually, but it will take some time to complete. In the meantime, the posters are on display & available from the Currier Museum (Manchester, NH), where you can also pick up the free mini of diary excerpts. Sometime soon I’ll have to post that mini to as well … In the meantime you can follow the series @ this blog or @ !

      — MAREK

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