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Addie K. Roadcap Collection

Identifier: 2024-001

Scope and Contents

The Addie K. Roadcap Collection contains two groups of materials. The first -- and larger -- group comprises Roadcap’s service during World War Two as a nurse with the United States Army Eighth Evacuation Hospital. The second, smaller group comprises personal correspondence and photographs gathered throughout her life. These center mostly on her youth and young-adulthood in the 1920s and 1930s in the vicinity of Fulk’s Run, Virginia, a community in the Allegheny foothills west of Broadway, in the Shenandoah Valley.

Among the “8th Evac” Hospital materials is a complete set of military orders and other documents concerning Roadcap, largely dating from 1942 to 1946, and offer insights into the formation and management of the mobile hospital, along with the staff demobilization after the war. Also present is a collection of unidentified snapshot photographs of Roadcap’s colleagues and camp life, a record largely duplicated by a scrapbook Roadcap put together after the war, also present in the collection. The most significant item, however, is a daily diary kept by Roadcap during the entire period of her military service, from 12 July 1942 to 18 October 1945, detailing the full range of camp activities as a member of the nursing corps -- both personal and professional. The diary is a bound volume in which each page is headed by the day and month with sufficient space below the date-heading for a succession of yearly entries: for example, the July 13 date page contains entries for 1942, 1943, 1944 and 1945. Unfortunately, pervading damp occurring long after the war severely injured the diary, diluting ink and sticking together the first thirty pages -- containing the January entries for each year. Although the object itself is too fragile to be consulted, a nearly complete transcription is available to researchers as the PDF “Roadcap Diary,” and as of this writing (2024) is stored in the History Center shared drive “Finding Aids” folder. Roadcap also assembled an “8th Evac” photograph album that was even more severely deteriorated by dampness. It has been retained in the collection pending analysis for conservation, but at present cannot be consulted.

Among the non-military personal items are pages from a photograph album that include superb shots of mountain life in the 1920s and 1930s, with a particular highlight of the road crew and construction work for an unidentified highway, most likely the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive federal road projects. Also present is a folder of correspondence from Roadcap in the early 1980s concerning inadequate nursing-home care for her elderly sister.

The following items arriving with the collection were deemed unsalvageable on account of extreme deterioration from dampness. They were discarded: 1) Pocket New Testament [publication information missing] Autograph annotation on front free end paper retained: “Addie Roadcap; Broadway Va. Oct 3, 1927” 2) Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church of the U.S.A., 1928 version; 3) Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church of the U.S.A., 1928 version; 4) Maryknoll Sunday Missal, Vatican II Edition; 5) George Hodges, “The Episcopal Church: Its Doctrine, Ministry, Discipline, Worship, and Sacraments.” 6) Numerous pages from a family photograph album.


  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1942 - 1945

Biographical / Historical

Addie K. Roadcap (1905-1995), a native of Rockingham County, Virginia, and lifelong resident of Charlottesville, was a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Nursing. She worked as a private duty nurse, and in 1942 joined the Eighth Evacuation Hospital, a military mobile hospital unit established by University of Virginia doctors and nurses. The “8th Evac” was in existence from 1942 to 1945 and followed the Allied front lines in North Africa and the peninsula of Italy until the end of the war. Roadcap was a “shock nurse,” responsible for triaging and stabilizing patients immediately upon their arrival at the hospital, in general prior to surgery. She also handled patients in contagious wards, and in addition was responsible for shock ward maintenance and for packing and set-up when the hospital moved to a new location as the front advanced. Her diary observations give a detailed and evocative picture of military life for a mobile hospital nurse, alternatively quiet and frenetic, humorous and devastating. After the close of the war Roadcap joined the nursing staff of the University of Virginia Hospital, serving as a general duty nurse in the Internal Medicine Private Clinic. She was awarded a Bronze Star by the U.S. Army for meritorious service in a combat zone.


2.0 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



The Roadcap Collection is separated into three groups: documents and photographs related to her military service, non-military documents and photographs, and artifacts. Folders are ordered alphabetically by general subject category, then chronologically within each category. Miscellaneous artifacts are contained in a single box.

Addie K. Roadcap Collection
Henry K. Sharp
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Eleanor Crowder Bjoring Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry Repository

University of Virginia School of Nursing
P.O. Box 800782
Charlottesville Virginia 22908-0782 United States