ï»¿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 traveled to Morris Island to tend to the growing number of sick and wounded soldiers.