Though Louisa May Alcott is best known for her children's tales, she also wrote a wide-ranging collection of works geared toward adult audiences, including essays and thrillers published anonymously or under the pseudonym A. M. Barnard. One of Alcott's most prominent early works, "Hospital Sketches," features a series of sketches based on her experiences as a volunteer nurse at the height of the Civil War. For six weeks in late 1862 and early 1863, Alcott served in the Union Hospital in the Georgetown district of Washington, DC, writing numerous letters to her family along the way. Alcott then prepared the letters for publication, adding some fictional details, and they were published in the "Boston Commonwealth" throughout May and June 1863 before being reprinted in book form later that year. Considered "fluent and sparkling, with touches of quiet humor and lively wit" by the "Boston Evening Transcript," "Hospital Sketches," was a great success, propelling Alcott into the literary spotlight.