While many institutions of higher education
made great sacrifices during the Civil War, few can boast of the dedication and effort made by the University of Notre Dame
. For four years, Notre Dame gave freely of its faculty and students as soldiers, sent its Holy Cross priests to the camps and battlefields as chaplains and dispatched its sisters to the hospitals as nurses. Though far from the battlefields, the war was ever-present on campus, as Notre Dame witnessed fisticuffs among the student body, provided a home to the children of a famous general, responded to political harassment and tried to keep at least some of its community from the fray. At war’s end, a proud Notre Dame welcomed back several bona fide war heroes and became home to a unique veterans’ organization.
Higher education in America originally began to provide the Protestant churches with educated clergymen.