Juliet G. (Blanchard) (Robbins)Howe (1825-1904)
York, York County, Nebraska
Juliet G. Howe was a volunteer Civil War nurse. She was referred to as army nurse many times in the WRC Department journals, and was on the 1889 and 1890
WRC Nationalists. As Juliet Robbins, widow, age 38, she enlisted at Boston August 1862 and served till being discharged in September 1865. If she went in through the Sanitary Commission, they did have a formal enlistment and a formal discharge. She served in hospitals at Point Lookout, Maryland, and Columbus and Union
Hospitals at Washington DC. In later years she received a pension.
The following is taken from her biography in the 1904 WRC Journal:
Juliet G. Blanchard was born July 12, 1825, in Charlestown,
Massachusetts. under the shadow of Bunker Hill Monument. Her
father was a merchant in comfortable circumstances. There were
4 boys and 4 girls in the family. She received the best education
that the public schools of that time afforded.”
She married Mr. __ Robbins, who died in 1858. “Mrs. Robbins
was a Christian and lightened her sorrows by ministering to the
sick and needy ones of her neighborhood.”
On August 3rd, 1862, Mrs. Robbins went to Boston and enrolled
herself as an Army Nurse. She was then 37. She was immediately
sent to the Hospital at Point Lookout, Maryland, and commenced
her duties by ministering to the wants of the sick and wounded
soldiers, who were brought there from the battlefields, bending
over the dying boys who took her supporting arm and soothing voice
for their mother’s or sister’s, dressing terrible wounds, administering
nourishing food, and writing letters to loved ones. She was transferred
to Columbus and Union Hospitals at Washington, D.C. where she
endeared herself to the suffering soldiers who called her ‘Mother
She served her country in this capacity for 3 years and 1
month, being Honorably Discharged September 19th, 1865. Quick
to see the exigencies of a situation, and wise to meet them,
understanding both how to direct and how to obey; her bravery
and self-reliance were balanced by her generosity and warm heartedness.
On leaving the service she returned to Charlestown, Mass.,
and resided with her mother until she came west in 1870 and married
Sidney Howe [1818-1906], a veteran who served in Co. F, 65th Ill
Inf. They settled in Nebraska in 1875.
Her life has been devoted to the alleviation of suffering,
and she has been an untiring worker in our Order until she became
crippled 5 years ago by a severe fall, breaking her hip. She
is now 78, and for her services to her country she receives a
pension. Her husband is 86, is totally blind and deaf. He also
receives a pension, showing that our Government is not ungrateful
to those who rallied to her aid in her hour of peril.
‘Aunt Juliet’ and ‘Uncle Sidney’ have given their hearts and
hands to God and their Country and are calmly awaiting the summons
Sidney A. Howe (1818-1906) homesteaded in Section 18, Twp
12, Range 1 W. This would be in Stewart Township, the northwestern most
township in York County, Nebraska. In the 1887 City Directory,
his address was 803 East 7th Street, York. In the1895 GAR post
roster his occupation was listed as contractor. In the 1900 census
the household consisted of Sidney retired, Juliet, a nephew [great-nephew?]
Frank Howard age 24, a servant woman and and a boarder, on 7th
Street in York.
Juliet G. Howe was a charter member and first president of
the Robert Anderson WRC Corps No. 5 which was instituted November
1883, before there was a WRC Department of Nebraska. Meetings
were held twice a month. She was corps President 1883, 1884,
1886 and 1889. At the first Department Convention April 1884
she was elected Department Chaplain and Delegate to the National
Convention, the same in 1885, and again a Delegate to National
in 1890. Through 1899 she was at every Department Convention,
except 1898 when she was visiting in Boston. She seemed to be
especially well-regarded. The WRC Department Journals tended
to call her “our army nurse,” and between the words
“our” and “army nurse” was often an adjective
such as “old” “honored” “aged” venerable”
“much loved” “most worthy” “beloved.”
In later years the Convention would send greetings to her, and
voted in 1904 to publish a short sketch of her life with her
photograph in the Journal. They also voted to send her a remembrance, which
turned out to be a silver cup, saucer and spoon, the cup being
engraved “Presented to Juliet G. Howe by the 21st Annual
Convention, Dept. Neb. W.R.C. May, 1904:” On WRC Day September
1897 at the GAR Reunion at Lincoln she had been introduced but
did not wish to speak, saying that in her day girls were never
taught the art of public speaking; “Her grey hair and motherly
face captured all hearts, however.”
Juliet G. Howe died December 19, 1904. She is buried in Greenwood Cemetery, York, Nebraska.
– WRC Department Annual Convention Journals: 1884
1st, pages 9, 12. 1885 2nd, page5. 1886 3rd, pages 46, 80. 1887
4th, page 101. 1888 5th, page 11. 1889 6th, page 5. 1890 7th,
pages 4,67,72. 1891 8th, page 4. 1892 9th, pages 6, 55, 84. 1893
10th, pages67,99. 1894 11th, page 4. 1898 15th, page 99. 1899
15th, page 34. 1901 18th, page51. 1902 19th, page 28. 1903 20th,
page 37. 1904 21st, pages 89, 91, 92, 93. 190522nd, page 34,
56, Part 2, page 2.
– WRC National Annual Convention Journals: 1889 7th,
page 137. 1890 8th, page 164. Spelled Julia and Juliette, respectively.
– Nebraska Adjutant General GAR Civil War Veterans Buried
in Nebraska, filmed by the Nebraska State Historical Society,
Lincoln; microfilm: on Sidney A. Howe.
– GAR and WRC records in York County on the Nebraska Gen Web
on the internet.
– York Directory 1887, at the York County Historical Association,
also on NEGenWeb.
– York County Homesteaders, compiled by Rose Marie
Hulse, published by Nebraska State Genealogical Society. This
little book in the York City Library,
– The Nebraska State Journal, Lincoln, September
17, 1897, as produced for Nebraska GenWeb Project, Civil War page.
– Census: 1900.
– Greenwood Cemetery.