Louisa May Alcott is best known for penning "e;Little Women,"e; but few are aware of the experience that influenced her writing most-her time as a nurse during the Civil War. Caring for soldiers' wounds and writing letters home for them inspired a new realism in her work. When her own letters home were published as "e;Hospital Sketches,"e; she had her first success as a writer. The acclaim for her new writing style inspired her to use this approach in "e;Little Women,"e; which was one of the first novels to be set during the Civil War. It was the book that made her dreams come true, and a story she could never have written without the time she spent healing others in service of her country.