Elizabeth Salome "Sallie" Myers was born on June 24, 1842 in Gettysburg and was 21 years old at the time of the battle. She was teaching in the Public School on High Street when the battle broke out. Sallie was the daughter of Peter Myers and Hannah Margaret Sheads Myers. The oldest daughter of the couple, she was responsible for the care of her many siblings - one older brother, four younger sisters, and one younger brother who she lost when he was only three. This nurturing spirit may have been what allowed Sallie to go to St. Francis Xavier church on the morning of July 2nd to help tend to the wounded. As she wrote in her diary, "I had never been able to stand the sight of blood. But I was destined to become accustomed to it." She walked from her home on High Street just a few doors to the west of the church. Once inside, she knelt to offer aid to the first soldier she encountered by asking what she could do for him. He looked up at her and said sorrowfully, "Nothing, I am going to die." Sallie tells us in her writings that, "To be met thus by the first one I addressed was more than my overwrought nerves could bear, and I went hastily out, sat down on the church step and cried." The soldier she had offered help to was Sgt. Alexander Stewart of Company D, 149th Pa. volunteers. He had been wounded in the lungs and spine, and there was no hope for his survival. Sallie took Sgt. Stewart to her home to care for him as well as numerous other wounded soldiers. Sgt. Stewart died on July 6 with Sallie by his side, tenderly caring for him. She notified his family and made sure that he was properly buried.

On July 12, Alexander's father came to thank the Myers family for their kindness and to take his son home. A deep friendship began between the Stewart and Myers families, and Alexander's younger brother, Henry, began writing to Sallie. Their bonds deepened as well, and on Oct. 17, 1867, Sallie and Henry were married. Sallie wrote in her diary, "We had a very quiet pleasant wedding and everything passed off without the embarrassment on the part of any." Unfortunately, their happiness was not to last, as Henry died on Sept. 20, 1868. On Oct. 17, 1868, she wrote, "One year ago today I left home a happy bride. This morning the cold snow is falling thick and fast upon my precious husband's grave." Their son, Henry Alexander Stewart, was born just ten days later on Oct. 27, 1868. Sallie brought her young son back to Gettysburg in 1871. She worked hard to raise her son. She put him through private schools and finally medical school. Sallie went back to teaching and taught for 16 years in the Franklin Street Colored School. She was an honored member of the National Association of Army Nurses and elected their treasurer in the 1880s. Life had been hard for Salome Myers Stewart but she once remarked to her son that she "was glad she had her black bread first." Despite the many tragedies that struck her in her younger life, she persevered. When Sallie Myers died on Jan. 17, 1922 at the age of 79, she had been a widow for 54 years. Her tombstone, one of the most poignant I know, reads: Salome Myers - Widow of Rev. Henry F. Stewart - D Co. 149th Vols. - Born June 24, 1842 -Married Oct. 17, 1867 - Parted Sept. 20, 1868 - Reunited Jan. 17, 1922---Volunteer Nurse of the Civil War, Daughter, Sister, and Wife of a Soldier, Faithful Unto Death. Above All, A Mother.

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