The unsung and frequently unappreciated heroes of the Confederacy were the Southern women who worked in hospitals. Mrs. Lucy Mina Otey, age 60 and a recent widow who eventually lost three sons in the Civil War, formed a corps of 500 Lynchburg women, the Ladie's Relief Society, to make bandages and uniforms. As the carnage of war continued, women's roles quickly expanded to become nurses and hospital matrons.
Greeted and rebuffed at a post hospital one day with the orders: "No more women, no more flies," Lucy Mina Otey traveled to Richmond and petitioned President Jefferson Davis to establish the independent Ladie's Relief Hospital on Main Street. With a capacity ofor 100 patients, The Ladie's Hospital was staffed by the Women's Corps with "Mrs. Captain Otey" as its President. Even though it became an unwritten law always to send the worst casualties to Ladie's Hospital, their mortality rate was the lowest of the local military hospitals, and it became renowned as one of the finest hospitals in the South.