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 Clarissa Harlowe “Clara” Barton

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Clarissa Harlowe “Clara” Barton

Founder of the American Red Cross (Angel of the Battlefield). Clara Barton was born on Christmas Day on a farm near Oxford, Massachusetts. She was a teacher and a government worker before heading off to minister the wounds of soldiers, often on bloody civil war battlefields. Barton was so close to the front lines at the Battle of Sharpsburg that a bullet passed through her clothes and killed the wounded soldier she was tending. She came into the missing soldiers business when a prisoner of war brought her a list of dead soldiers from the legendary Andersonville Confederate prison camp in Georgia. Nearly 13,000 of 45,000 confined Union soldiers died of disease, filth, starvation and exposure. Thanks to her work, Barton was able to return to Andersonville and mark the graves of thousands of soldiers, She later published a list of their names. Once people realized she had found dead soldiers, she started receiving thousands of letters from mothers and daughters. As head of the missing persons office, Barton became the first woman to run a government bureau, receiving $15,000 in congressional appropriations and working with her own staff. She went to Europe and visited Switzerland. A group of men called on her and told of an organization called the International Red Cross Committee. Each member wore a badge - a red cross on a white background. On the battlefield the men who wore it were always welcome. Clara Barton came back to the United States and began work toward organization of an American Red Cross. The government agreed to permit such an organization. Barton was the first president and served as its head for twenty-two years. Clara Barton's life finally came to an end when she reached the age of ninety-one. (Bio by John R. Bacak)


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 63
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Clarissa Harlowe “Clara” Barton (25 Dec 1821–12 Apr 1912), Find A Grave Memorial no. 63, citing North Cemetery, Oxford, Worcester County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .