CIVIL WAR NURSE
Medical Dept., U. S. Volunteers, Wheeling, W. Va.
"Song of the Hills, The Story of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Wheeling"
By Sister Rose Anita Kelly
Mount Saint Joseph Pub., 1962
Sister Ignatius Farley, (Jane Farley), daughter of Patrick and Catherine Murray Farley of Marshall County, Virginia, was received on July 31, 1863, and died December 4, 1931, at the age of 90 years. Not only was she the last survivor of the Wheeling group of six Grand Army nurses, she was also one of three surviving religious of any Order who did hospital work during that period. During her life she was honored with public notice as one of the surviving religious of the battlefields, especially at the dedication of the monument erected in Washington, D. C., to the memory of the Civil War Veterans, and in a stained glass panel in the window of the Sacred Heart Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. On June 14, 1961, a memorial plaque was awarded to the Wheeling Community by the Catholic Hospital Association of the United States and Canada in recognition of the "courageous services which were given to the nation without thought of recompense or personal glorification... and in a day when the nation cried out in its agony, answered that call and 'comforted the dying, nursed the wounded, carried hope to the imprisoned, gave in His name a drink of water to the thirsty.'"
Sister Mary Ignatius Farley was born Jane Farley (also spelled Farrelly) in Marshall County, (West) Va. on December 5, 1841. She was the daughter of Patrick and Catherine Farley:
1860 Census, Marshall County, W.Va.
Patrick, 53-wm, farmer, Ire.
Catharine, 40-wf, Ire.
Catharine, 20-wf, NY
Mary A., 18-wf, VA
Jane, 16-wf, VA
Margaret, 14-wf, VA
John, 10-wm, VA
Jane Farley commenced her religious vocation at the Wheeling community of the Sisters of St. Joseph. The U. S. Government took over Wheeling Hospital as a "Post Hospital" and some of the sisters served as army nurses.
Sister Ignatius and Mother deChantal Keating received the Bronze Medal of the Grand Army of the Republic for their outstanding service as army nurses at Wheeling Hospital.
Sister Ignatius recalled this scene:
"As I opened the door of our temporary dormitory, I stood fascinated by the picture before me. In the dim light afforded by the small, perpetual flame of the sanctuary lamp which flickered in the temporary chapel just beyone the glass panels of the folding doors, I beheld my Sisters - all seven of them - lying on the floor fast asleep. Each weary head rested on a pillow made of a coffee sack stuffed with leaves gathered from the hospital grounds."
(From a cookbook, date unknown, published by Wheeling Hospital)
Application #1148.242; certificate #988.410
Declaration for Nurse's Pension
State of West Virginia
County of Ohio, ss:
On the 5th day of October, A.D. one thousand eight hundred and ninety 2 personally appeared before me, a Notary Public within and for the county and State aforesaid, MARY FARLEY, aged 50 years, a resident of Wheeling, County of Ohio, State of West Virginia, who, being duly sworn according to law, declares that she is the identical MARY FARLEY who was employed as nurse CONTRACT on or about the 12th day of January, 1863, in Post Hospital at Wheeling, W.Va. known as Wheeling Hospital in the service of the United States, in the War of the Rebellion, and served at least six months and was Honorably Released at Wheeling West Va, on or about the 26th day of July 1864. That she is now unable to earn a support by reason of Rhuematism, Pleurisy, General ailments due to women, Age, etc., and resulting disabilities. - That said disabilities are to the best of her knowledge and belief of a permanent character. That she is not a pensioner... That she has never been employed in the United States service as nurse otherwise than as stated above. - That she makes this declaration for the purpose of being placed on the pension-roll of the United States under the provisions of the Act of August 5, 1892.
Sr. Mary Farrelly
Attest: Sister Mary Hohman & Sister Mary Benson
Record and Pension Division
Washington, May 2, 1898
Respectfully returned to the Commissioner of Pensions,
with the information that the medical records, (Muster Rolls of Post and Genl. Hosptl, Wheeling, West Va.) show the following:
Roll for July and Aug. 1864, (Post Hosp'l), - Sister Mary Ignatius, present; attached to hospital July 29, 64, employed as nurse. Employed by authority of Surg. Gen., USA.
Roll for Sept and Oct. 1864, (Post Hosp'l) - Sister Mary Ignatius, present; attached to hospital July 29, 1864, employed as matron. Employed as nurse to Sept. 30, 64.
Roll for Nov and Dec 1864, (Gen'l Hosp'l) - Sister Mary Ignatius, nurse, present; attached to hospital July 29, 1864, employed as nurse. Employed as matron to the 25th Nov 1864, when she was re-employed as nurse by order of the Surgeon General of the Army.
Roll for Jan and Feb 1865, (Gen'l Hosp'l) - Sister Mary Ignatius, present; attached to hospital July 29, 1864, employed as nurse.
Roll for Mar and Apl 1865, (Gen'l Hosp'l) - Sister Mary Ignatius, nurse, present; attached to hospital July 29, 1864, employed as nurse.
Roll for May and June 1865, (Gen'l Hosp'l) - Sister Mary Ignatius, present; attached to hospital July 29, 1864, (patient), employed by authority of the Surgeon General of the Army. Date of termination of service not found.
Nothing additional found.
By authority of the Secretary of War:
F. C. Aimsworth, Medical Surgeon, US Army
State of West Virginia, County of Ohio, ss:
In the matter of pension of JANE FARRELLY in religion Sister Mary Ignatius Claim No. 1148242.
Personally appeared before me, a Clerk of County Court in and for aforesaid County and State Jane Farrelly in religion Sister Mary Ignatius St. Joseph Convent Wheeling W.Va. person of lawful age, who, being duly sworn, declare in relation to aforesaid case, as follows:
I served as a Nurse in St. Joseph Hospital or Post Hospital at Wheeling W.Va. from Jan 12 1863 to August 1st 1864 the work I did was that of a nurse generally in the preparation of food and delicacies and the administration of Medicines under the direction of Surgeons in Charge of Hospital Viz Dr. John Frissell and Dr John Kirker and Sister Immaculate who had full charge of all the Sisters in said Hospital, that sick and wounded Soldiers were sent to this Hospital from the Athenaeum Hospital and Prison and from Military Camps at and near to Wheeling W.Va. that for a part of said time only a portion of the building was used as a military or Post Hospital that on or about April 1864 the Government took full charge of said Hospital under Dr. John Kirker during all the time from Jan 12 1863 to August 1st 1864 I rendered service as a Nurse to sick and wounded Soldiers in said hospital. I am aged 56 years. I was never married and I never received a Pension as a Widow, mother or Nurse, that I am Physically unable to earn a support by labor. My full and true name before I became a Sister was Jane Farrelly in religion Mary Ignatius.
Jane Farrelly in religion
Sister Mary Ignatius
St. Joseph's Convent
Oct 31, 1932
Mr. M. Collins
Director of Finance
In reply to the enclosed letter I wish to say that Jane Farrelly (Sister M. Ignatius) who DIED Dec. 4, 1931 possessed no estate, hence there was no will, executor or administrator.
Her nearest living relative is Henrietta Farley (Sister M. Dorothy) whose address is St. Joseph's Convent, Cor. 14th & Eoff St. Wheeling, W. Va.
Anna Pickens (Sister M. Felicitas)