Born in 1821 in Massachusetts, Clara Barton worked mostly as a teacher and later in the U.S. Patent Office right before the war. Upon learning the fate of many of the wounded at First Manassas she began an independent organization to get supplies and aid to soldiers. The next year the U.S. Surgeon granted her a general pass to travel with army ambulances to provide care.
During the siege of Petersburg, Barton served with the X Corps hospital at Bermuda Hundred. At this point she served as superintendent of nurses in Gen. Butler's command. Her writings from this period give insight to the horrors of trench warfare, the medical treatments of the day, and the experience of being one of the few females in the world of medicine.
After the war she organized a program for locating men missing in action. She founded the American Red Cross 1881 from which she resigned in 1904. She died in 1912.
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Did You Know?
Petersburg, Virginia was linked to Wilmington, North Carolina by the Petersburg and Weldon Railroad. Wilmington was the Confederacy's chief destination for Confederate blockade runners loaded with European goods and supplies for citizens and soldiers alike. (Petersburg National Battlefield)