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Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Women's History Month ---- Clara Barton

Clara Harlowe Barton was born in Massachusetts in 1821. She was the youngest of five children.  Barton was an educated, hard working individual. She had worked as both a clerk and book keeper for her brother. Clara also worked for several years as a teacher and as a post office clerk in Washington D.C. Clara Barton had strong thoughts on anti-slavery and eventually she was felt to many to be controversial and at that time she went back home to New England.

In 1861 when the civil war broke out Clara Barton returned to Washington D.C to volunteer and care for wounded soldiers. When her father passed Clara left the hospital to help the soldiers in the field. She took 3 wagon loads of supplies and worked hard to organize men to perform first aid, carry water and prepare food for the wounded. Barton would travel with her wagons offering help to all who need it. No matter Union or Confederate she would help. Most of the supplies had been purchased with donations gathered by herself she also used her own money.

Clara Barton was the first to pass out fresh blood in person or through mail. She would become ill and have to be evacuated.

"We have captured one fort - Gregg - and one charnel house - Wagner - and we have built one cemetery, Morris Island.  The thousand little sand-hills that in the pale moonlight are a thousand headstones, and the restless ocean waves that roll and breakup on the whitened beach sing an eternal requiem to the toll-worn gallant dead who sleep beside."  
- Clara Barton on Morris Island

Barton would travel north when news of her brother and nephews deaths reached her. President Abraham Lincoln would appoint Clara Barton General Correspondent to the Friends of Paroled Prisoners She would be responsible to answer inquiries from friends and relatives of missing soldiers by locating them among prison rolls, parole rolls or casualty lists Barton would establish the Bureau of Records of Missing Men of the Armies of the United States. The group would publish rolls of missing men including the Andersonville prison.

Clara Barton would travel to Geneva Switzerland in 1869. She would become a member of the International Red Cross. In 1880 she would return to the US to establish The American Red Cross. During the Spanish American War she would send money and volunteer.

Clara Barton died in 1912 at the age of ninety-one.

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