Merklees in the Civil War: Adeline M. Merklee

Adeline Merklee was born in Philadelphia, PA, on 12 June 1822. She was the second child of Conrad and Catherine (Knowsland) Merklee. She never married. The 1900 U.S. Census lists her as unmarried and living with her sisters Amanda, Anna, and Clara, and their niece Amanda Beitler, in Philadelphia. She died at Philadelphia on 20 October 1902.

She and her sisters volunteered at the Cherry Street hospital in Philadelphia during the Civil War, nursing wounded Union and Confederate soldiers alike. Below is the text from two of her obituaries.

From The Philadelphia Inquirer, 21 Oct 1902:

Old War Nurse Dead

Miss Adeline M. Merklee, who was one of the best-known nurses in the Civil War, died yesterday from pneumonia at her residence, 1527 North street. Miss Merklee was born in the old city proper in 1822, her father having been a veteran of the war of 1812. When the Civil War broke out she volunteered as a nurse and served continuously in the Cherry Sreet Hospital from 1861 to 1865. At her funeral on Thursday tha pall bearers will be her six nephews, Judge A. M. Beitler, William L. Beitler, and Major Lewis Beitler, Daniel C. Merklee, Charles H. Merklee, and George C. Merklee. The funeral service will be preached by Rev. Harrison Beitler-Garner.

From the (Philadelphia) Ledger , 21 Oct 1902:


Miss Adeline M. Merklee, 80 years old, whose life was closely interwoven with Philadelphia’s charitable history, especially during the Civil War, died yesterday afternoon at her home, 1527 North street, of pneumonia. Miss Merklee was born in the old city, June 12, 1822, and was one of four sisters who, with Mrs. Gillespie and other prominent women, were active in the Cherry Street Hospital, which stood where the Odd Fellows’ Temple now is, at Broad and Cherry streets, and in which thousands of Confederate and Union soldiers were treated and nursed. For four years she acted as a volunteer nurse in that hospital. She will be mourned by a large circles [sic] of acquaintances, but by none more sincerely than her soldier boys.