Civil War History
The Daughters and Sisters of Charity played a prominent role during the Civil War as nurses and aid workers, providing compassion in an otherwise violent and painful epoch. Some worked in the cities where they were missioned, while others traveled from battlefield to battlefield, North and South. They continued Mother Seton’s ministry of charity, bringing solace and healing to the wounded of both armies, sometimes at their own peril.
The war came to Emmitsburg in late June 1863, with the armies of the Potomac and Northern Virginia succeeding each other at St. Joseph’s. Like St. Elizabeth Ann, the Sisters during this battle sought out and served those in need. Approximately forty years after Mother Seton’s death (1821), her home was the site of the Union encampment in 1863. St. Joseph’s House, now known as Mother Seton’s White House--located on the grounds today to see and tour--was where Union officers conducted a war council to prepare for the battle of Gettysburg.
We offer additional resources to learn more about the role of the Sisters and Daughters of Charity in the Civil War at the Seton Heritage Shoppe.
Ask us about our Charity Afire exhibit. Seton Heritage Ministries has discovered the compelling story of how the Sisters not only endured the war, but tended to the spiritual and medical needs of soldiers from both armies.
Visitor Center & Basilica Hours
10:00 am - 4:30 pm every day
Historic Houses & Grounds: Tuesday - Sunday on the hour, 10 am to 3pm
Civil War: Fridays and Saturdays at 12 pm, 1 pm, 2 pm and 3 pm
Mass & Confessions
1:30 Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Confessions heard before each Mass from 12:15 to 1:15 pm.