By Mindy Longhurst
Clara Barton was a nurse during the Civil War. Barton showed bravery and determination to help others. She would even go onto the battlefield to try to help the wounded. At these moments, Barton would be close to the frontline action of war. One time a bullet even went through a piece of her clothing and killed the man she was treating! Of this experience Barton later said, “A ball has passed between my body and the right arm which supported him, cutting through his chest from shoulder to shoulder. There was no more to be done for him and I left him to his rest. I have never mended that hole in my sleeve. I wonder if a soldier ever does mend a bullet hole in his coat?”
She dearly cared for these soldiers. She even created the Bureau of Records of Missing Men of the Armies of the United States. Whenever possible, she wrote down information about the soldiers. She would then try and contact this person’s loved ones to let them know of the soldier’s medical condition.
After her difficult experience of helping those who fought in the Civil War, she learned about the Red Cross in Switzerland. She knew that this was helping people and realized that this was needed in the United States. She rallied for this to be implemented in the United States and with some lobbying the American Red Cross was established with Barton at the head.
Barton worked throughout her life to try to help others who were in need. She is a great example of sacrifice, diligence and determination.
For more information about Clara Barton, please visit https://www.history.com/topics/womens-history/clara-barton.