Welcome to Hidden Memorials, a series that gives a brief introduction to the city's more obscure monuments, memorials and statues. Today, let's look at Nuns of the Battlefield.
The area between Dupont Circle and Farragut Square can seem like a teeming mass of people rushing between offices and lunch destinations, but there are a few hidden memorials in the middle of the bustle. In addition to the impossibly tiny Sonny Bono Park, there's also this bronze bas relief on the corner of M Street and Rhode Island Avenue NW.
Nuns of the Battlefield is one of two monuments in D.C. dedicated to women whose actions were influential in the Civil War. There are twelve nuns depicted on the relief and then two bronze statues of women (one representing Peace and the other Patriotism) on each side of the granite slab that encompasses the relief. Irish sculptor Jerome Conner is responsible for the monument that was dedicated in 1924. It says above the relief, "They Comforted The Dying, Nursed The Wounded, Carried Hope To The Imprisoned, Gave In His Name A Drink Of Water To The Thirsty." At the statue's base are the words, "To The Memory And In Honor Of The Various Orders of Sisters Who Gave Their Services As Nurses On Battlefields And In Hospitals During The Civil War." Unsurprisingly, this is on the National Register of Historic Places.
· Nuns of the Battlefield [Wikipedia]
· All Hidden Memorials [CDC]