Angel of the Battlefield

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Photograph of Clara Barton by Mathew Brady, c. 1865, National Archives, 526057

Clara Barton, a former teacher working as a U.S. Patent Office clerk, felt compelled to help care for a group of wounded Union soldiers after they had been ambushed outside of Washington, D.C. She organized collections of supplies and cared for the injured. Knowing she could be of more value to soldiers in the field, Barton followed the Union Army, nursing wounded soldiers and earning the nickname ÔÇťAngel of the Battlefield".

Barton went to Europe after the war, where she learned of the Geneva, Switzerland-based Red Cross and its mission to form a global network of societies to care for the injured during wartime and provide aid to those in need. When she returned home, she and a group of associates formed the American Association of the Red Cross in 1881. Barton would lead the American Red Cross for the next 23 years.

Angel of the Battlefield