Dasha from Sevastopol

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Bust of Dasha from Sevastopol adorns the building of Franz Roubaud's panorama in Sevastopol.

Darya Lavrentyevna Mikhailova (Дарья Лаврентьевна Михайлова) (November 1836 – 1892) was a Russian nurse during the siege of Sevastopol in the Crimean War, from which she became better known by the name Dasha of Sevastopol (Даша Севастопольская). She was one of the founders of modern nursing with Florence Nightingale.

Mikhailova was born in a village near Klyuchischi in the Kazan Governorate. Her father, a sailor in the Russian navy, was killed in the Battle of Sinope in 1853. She was a 17-year-old orphan when the Crimean War broke out in 1853.

Before the war, she worked as a laundress and needlewoman for the personnel of the Russian navy in the Korabelnaya district of Sevastopol, near Sevastopol Shipyard. She left her home when the war broke out to help take care of wounded Russian soldiers on the battlefield during the Battle of Alma. She set up a nursing station, using vinegar and strips of her clothing to clean and dress the soldiers' wounds. She was the first Russian army sisters of charity during the Crimean War.

After the war, Tsar Nicholas I awarded her the Order of St. Vladimir with a gold medal "For diligence". She was the only lower-class Russian woman to receive this award. She was also given a reward of 500 silver rubles, and promised a further gift of 1,000 silver rubles on her marriage, when she married, which she received when she married Private Maksim Khvorostov in 1855.

The couple ran an inn in a village, then moved to Nikolaev, but Dasha eventually returned to Sevastopol where she ran a tavern and worked in a hospital. When she retired, she was presented with an icon of Christ bought with donations from her patients. She died in Shelanga, near her home village, in 1892.

Asteroid 3321 is named in her memory (3321 Dasha 1975 TZ2 Darya Lavrentyevna Mikhailova).

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