It is worth noting that the Theater Art Department at Boise State University actually staged the 4-day run of this popular Broadway musical adaptation of Civil War nurse and author Louisa May Alcott's novel "Little Women" during the very same week that the state of Idaho launched the inaugural "IDAHO DAY" celebration at the state capitol. Of course, on March 4, 1863...our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, created Idaho Territory with a stroke of his pen and two years later on March 4, 1865 delivered his famous Second Inaugural Speech in front of thousands of spectators gathered in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington City.

The two anniversaries forever linked to President Lincoln were celebrated by members of the Idaho Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission with a mid-morning  ceremony and reading of the Second Inaugural Address at the "Seated Lincoln" statue in downtown Boise. Then, we went over to the Lincoln Auditorium in the lower level of the Idaho State Capitol for the Idaho Day celebration. On the opening night of "Little Women: the Musical", our members attended a wonderful performance by the Boise State University students, that helped to clarify how the Civil War affected the families which the soldiers left behind when they went off to war. 

Of course, as a Louisa May Alcott expert who  had once chaired a panel discussion on "Women and the War" held in conjunction with an exhibit on Miss Alcott held at the local library; I couldn't help but reflect on the close brush with death that Louisa had as a result of her brief career as a Union Army nurse who contracted the disease from the unsanitary conditions at her hospital in Georgetown. This past January marked the 152nd anniversary of Alcott's grave illness and her father's arrival at the hospital to take her back home to recover and regain her health; and concurrently...the tragic death of Louisa's supervisor and trainer, Mrs. Hannah Ropes from the same illness.   What bravery these women showed, in making it their patriotic duty to assist with the Civil War cause by nursing these sick and wounded soldiers back to health!