Tech Talk App Review: Meet Sr. Mary Lucy Dosh, Civil War Nurse, through "Civil War Truce" App


Civil War Truce, developed by a 5-woman team at Davis Studio, is an interactive book-on-app detailing the fascinating story of a young nun whose lovely soprano voice and tender care impacted the lives of countless Civil War soldiers.

Historic and spiritual

IMG_1963Civil War Truce is an engaging app filled with sound effects, music, interactive graphics and even old films. It is attractively laid out with a definite “period” appeal and will appeal not only to Catholics interested in the life of Sr. Mary Lucy Dosh, but to history buffs as well.

I would highly recommend viewing this app on a tablet versus a phone as many of the pages contain type that is quite small.

Similarities to a famous Civil War nurse

I was attracted to the story because of my interest in Louisa May Alcott (whom I write about on the Louisa May Alcott is My Passion blog) who served briefly with distinction as a Civil War nurse in Washington, DC. I saw many parallels between her passionate commitment to the soldiers and the way she comforted them through her humor, storytelling and natural maternal instinct, and Sr. Lucy, who was equally as giving; as an accomplished soprano, she comforted the soldiers by singing to them.

While Alcott’s service took place in Washington, Sr. Lucy and the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth served in Kentucky. To Alcott and Sr. Lucy, it mattered not whether the soldiers were Confederate or Union.

Called to something greater

Sr. Lucy was originally known as Barbara Dosh. Her original goal in life was to be “admired, to have money and pleasure, and enjoy myself in the world.” She attracted admirers with her gracious singing and was eventually adopted by a wealthy family who granted her every wish. Yet her time at St. Vincent’s Academy with the sisters instilled in her the call to the religious life.

Called to serve and to suffer

IMG_1966From there she and the other sisters were called to serve as nurses during the Civil War. Like Alcott, Sr. Lucy contracted typhoid but unlike Alcott, did not survive. Both women however, impacted the lives of the soldiers in such a degree that they were honored by them: soldiers who had been attended to by Sr. Lucy stood by her body round the clock until a memorial service could be held. In Alcott’s case, the Concord regiment stopped in front of her home at Orchard House (where she had been sent due to the typhoid and pneumonia) and gave her a salute.

Using our gifts to serve

It was fascinating to me as a history buff to read of other women who had the courage to nurse the wounded during our country’s most horrendous war. I was also inspired by Sr. Lucy’s generosity and compassion for the soldiers and how she used her singing to comfort them.

Lincoln’s commendation

Abraham Lincoln praised the sisters in “all forms of benevolence and charity;” their devotion to the soldiers and their efficiency in their work—his full statement can be read in the accompanying graphic.


Civil War Truce offers the fascinating and well-researched story of courage, compassion and charity shown by women the religious life in service to our soldiers.creators

You can find out more about Civil War Truce at The App is available for iOS and Android and is priced at $2.99.

Copyright 2015 Susan W. Bailey
Artwork: screenshots from the Civil War Truce app used by permission of Davis Studio



About Author

Susan Bailey is the author of River of Grace Creative Passages Through Difficult Times (Ave Maria Press), and Louisa May Alcott: Illuminated by The Message (ACTA Publications), part of their Literary Portals to Prayer series. Along with her blogs Be as One and Louisa May Alcott is My Passion, Susan writes for the Diocese of Worcester newspaper, The Catholic Free Press.

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