Nuns of the Battlefield
Entitled "The Nuns of the Battlefield," the bronze relief was commissioned in 1924 by the Ladies Auxiliary of the Ancient Order of the Hibernians (an organization of the Roman Catholic church) to honor nuns who volunteered to care for the sick and wounded of the Civil War.
The relief, by Irish sculptor Jerome Conner, shows a crowd of twelve habit-garbed sisters from various Orders. They appear concerned, perhaps discussing which mortally wounded soldiers to treat first. Carved above the relief: "They comforted the dying, nursed the wounded, carried hope to the imprisoned, gave in His name a drink of water to the thirsty."
Two seated bronze figures represent the Angel of Peace and the Angel of Patriotism -- in armor and helmet.
The final location of the piece along M Street wasn't Connor's first choice (the War Department objected to a plan to erect it in Arlington National Cemetery). Connor even sued the Ancient Order of the Hibernians for allegedly never paying him.