Clara Barton – Angel of the Battlefield
When the Civil War broke out Clara Barton was one of the first volunteers to appear at the Washington Infirmary to care for wounded soldiers. After the Battle of Bull Run, she established an agency to obtain and distribute supplies to wounded soldiers. In July 1862, Clara Barton lobbied and won permission to travel behind the lines to administer aid to soldiers of both the North and South. Clara reached some of the grimmest battlefields of the war and served during the sieges of Petersburg and Richmond. Her presence, and the supplies she brought with her in three army wagons, was particularly welcome at the Battle of Antietam, where overworked surgeons were trying to make bandages out of corn husks. She organized the men to perform first aid, carry water, and prepare food for the wounded. Prior to Clara’s work with wounded soldiers, the military had never allowed female nurses in army camps or hospitals. Most of the supplies that Ms. Barton delivered were purchased with donations solicited by Ms. Barton or purchased with her own funds.
On two occasions during the war, Clara Barton almost lost her life. After she delivered the supplies at the Battle of Antietam, she quietly nursed soldiers on the battlefield. As she knelt down to give one soldier a drink, she felt her sleeve quiver. She looked down, noticed a bullet hole in her sleeve, and then discovered that the bullet had killed the man whose head she was cradling. Undaunted, the unlikely figure in her bonnet, red bow, and dark skirt moved on and on, and on, and on.
“In my feeble estimation, General McClellan, with all his laurels, sinks into insignificance beside the true heroine of the age, the angel of the battlefield.” Dr. James Dunn, surgeon at Antietam Battlefield. In 1863, Clara Baron travelled to Morris Island to tend to the growing number of sick and wounded soldiers. The wounded were expanding after the failed Union assault on Fort Wagner in July 1863 and sickness had plagued the island. Clara Barton, working out of a tent, addressed the growing problem of sickness by passing out fresh food and mail to the troops in the trenches. Despite her great efforts Clara Barton contracted typhoid fever and almost lost her life again.
Born in Massachusetts in 1821, Clara Barton is the youngest of six children. Early in her career, she worked as a clerk and book keeper for her oldest brother. She then taught school for several years, even starting her own school in Bordentown New Jersey in 1853. This school was one of the first free public schools in the state. From 1854 to 1857 she was employed by the Patent Office in Washington D.C., the first woman to ever work at the Patent Office. Once the Civil War began, Clara Barton knew she had to help. “What could I do but go with them (Civil War soldiers), or work for them and my country? The patriot blood of my father was warm in my veins.” Clara Barton Now that the Civil War is coming to an end, President Lincoln has appointed Ms. Barton General Correspondent for the Friends of Paroled Prisoners. Her job is to respond to anxious inquiries from the friends and relatives of missing soldiers by locating them among the prison rolls, parole rolls, or casualty lists at the camps in Annapolis. She is already organizing and planning the best possible outcome to this enormous task.
LEE SURRENDERS!! END OF CIVIL WAR?
With his army surrounded, his men weak, exhausted and starving, Robert E. Lee realized there was no choice but to surrender his Army to General Grant. After a series of notes between the two leaders, Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia on April 9, 1865 at the McLean House in the village of Appomattox Courthouse. The meeting lasted two and a half hours and most likely depicts the end of this Civil War.
After Lee’s withdrawal from Petersburg and Richmond, he tried to retreat to Lynchburg,...
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