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Clara Barton’s Life: The Founder of Red Cross.

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Clara Barton’s Life: The Founder of Red Cross. essay

Clara Barton

When Clara Barton was a little girl, her dream was to one day become a nurse and care for others. She was born on December 25, 1821 in Oxford, Massachusetts. She was the daughter of Steven and Sarah Barton and had 2 brothers and 2 sisters. Clara was morbidly shy and very sensitive, causing her to be educated by her family. When she was younger her father, who was a captain in the war, taught her about geography and about what happens on the battlefield. Learning this helped her later on in live when she was helping soldiers on the battlefield.

Clara had a huge impact in the United States even today because of her contributions to the civil war. She was a nurse who treated soldiers on the battlefield and saved many lives. When Clara was 17 she became a teacher and let on opened a free public school in New Jersey. The school was a huge success, with the attendance to be over 600 students. However, the school board decided to hire a man instead of Clara to be head of the school. Because Clara opened the school but they refused her the position, she moved to Washington D.C. to look for work.

It was the mid-1850s when Clara was hired to work in the U.S. Patent Office as a clerk. This was the first time a woman had received a substantial job working for the government while also making a man’s salary. Many say Clara was well qualified for the job because of her copperplate handwriting. However, at the beginning of the civil war she resigned to work as a volunteer. Her chance arrived when regiments arrived in Washington D.C. in April of 1861.Clara began by advertising for supplies and distributing supplies to help wounded soldiers

When the 6th Massachusetts Infantry was attacked en route to Washington, D.C., many soldiers were injured and killed. When Clara heard what had happened and about the condition of the soldiers, she immediately took action. She took supplies from her home to aid the injured. After curing these soldiers, Clara Barton started a relief program and began to raise money to provide medical supplies for Union soldiers. However, Clara longed to do more. Finally, in 1862, she was officially granted permission to transport supplies to battlefields. This was the first time a woman was allowed to work in hospitals, camps, or in battlefields. This was only the beginning of what would be her life long career in nursing.

The first time Clara saw combat was in the Battle of Cedar Mountain in 1862. After that, began to travel throughout the war with army ambulances to nurse and provide aid to thousands of soldiers. At first, military officers declined her help because she was a woman. Eventually, she gained the trust from the officials. After this, she began to receive supplies from all over the country. From there on Clara was nicknamed “Angel of the Battlefield” for her amazing work she did while helping wounded soldiers.

In1864, Clara officially became the superintendent of Union nurses and obtained hospital supplies, assistants and military trains to help her. Everywhere she went, people were grateful. She brought three army wagons full of supplies to the Battle of Antietam where she aided the surgeons who were attempting to make bandages out of cornhusks. After seeing the lack of help on the battlefields, Clara began to scout out able-bodied men to give first-aid, carry water, and prepare food for the wounded soldiers. Clara brought her supply wagons with her as she traveled with the Union army. However, Clara would tend to confederate prisoners and some confederate soldiers. Even though she was with the Union, she would help any soldier who passed her path.

As Clara Barton aided injured soldiers in many different battles, she felt she had become part of the war. She would only eat the same food that the soldiers were given, and never considered herself to be better than any of them. After a while, soldiers began to recognize her and felt that safe knowing she was taking care of them. In one battle a bullet brushed passed her shoulder and killed the soldier she was tending to. However, all the soldiers loved her. By the end of the civil war, Clara aided soldiers in a total of sixteen battles including Battle of First Manassas and Second Manassas, Battle of Fredericksburg, Battle of Cold Harbor, Battle of Fort Wagner, and the Battle of Antietam.

In March of 1865, Abraham Lincoln appointed her the General Correspondent for the Friends of Paroled Prisoners. Her job was to respond to anxious families of missing soldiers by locating them among prison lists, parole lists, or causality lists in Maryland. Clara Barton than established the Bureau of Records of Missing Men of the Armies of the United States and published Lists of Missing Men to be posted across the country in order to find the missing soldiers. She traced around 20,000 men. Because of her help, anonymous graves at Andersonville prison were identified and marked.

After the civil war, Clara traveled to Europe for rest as directed by her doctor. While there, she discovered the International Red Cross. She then worked in the Franco-Prussian war in 1870. She then returned home and began to push for an American branch for the Red Cross. She urged the United States to sign Geneva Convention, a treaty that permitted medical personnel to be treated as neutral parties who could aid the sick and wounded during wars. The American Red Cross was founded in 1881.

Clara Barton was the President of the American Red Cross and served from 1882-1904. During this time the Red Cross served in Cuba during the Spanish-American war and oversaw assistance for victims of disasters such as 1889 Johnstown Flood and the 1900 Galveston Flood. Clara resigned in 1904 from the American Red Cross. She died on April 12, 1912 in her home.

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Clara Barton’s Life: The Founder of Red Cross. (2018, December 11). GradesFixer. Retrieved December 6, 2022, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/clara-bartons-life-the-founder-of-red-cross/
“Clara Barton’s Life: The Founder of Red Cross.” GradesFixer, 11 Dec. 2018, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/clara-bartons-life-the-founder-of-red-cross/
Clara Barton’s Life: The Founder of Red Cross. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/clara-bartons-life-the-founder-of-red-cross/> [Accessed 6 Dec. 2022].
Clara Barton’s Life: The Founder of Red Cross. [Internet] GradesFixer. 2018 Dec 11 [cited 2022 Dec 6]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/clara-bartons-life-the-founder-of-red-cross/
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