Phoebe Yates Pember (1823–1913) was born in Charleston, South Carolina and moved to Savannah, Georgia, in the 1850’s. Widowed and childless in 1861, Pember took the position of matron at the Confederate Army’s Chimborazo Hospital in Richmond, Virginia and labored there throughout the war. In 1879, Plember chronicled her experiences in A Southern Woman’s Story and was honored by Confederate veterans’ organizations in her later years, and in 1995 her portrait appeared on a U.S. Postal Service Civil War commemorative stamp.
A Southern Woman’s Story is straightforward with Confederate social and medical history. She keeps up on the gossip and scandals from inside the Confederacy’s largest hospital and the city of Richmond, presenting differing personalities and stock characters with insight. This is a valuable book for students and scholars of women’s history and the social history of the Civil War.