During the Civil War, Miss Barton concentrated on the relief of wounded soldiers on battlefields. This caused her to follow the U.S. Army, work in temporary areas and move on. Occasionally, for rest or to resupply, she returned to Washington, D.C., where the city's buildings and supply centers were untouched by battle conditions. Miss Barton's position with the Red Cross during the Franco-Prussian War had her working mostly with the victims of war; women, children, the elderly or sick, left behind in cities where the fighting had destroyed homes, factories, stores and nearly everything that offered a normal lifestyle.
Her home in Glen Echo, the site of the Clara Barton National Park, was her home during the last 15 years of her life.