How did Clara Barton influence soldiers from the future and the past? external image Clara_Barton_Red_Cross_1905.jpg

Clara Harlowe
Barton was born on December 25, 1821 in North Oxford, Massachusetts. Clara was the youngest of five children, which consisted of two brothers and two sisters. She was the daughter of Stephen Barton who was the state legislator. Her parents were abolitionists. Her father had served in the Revolution under General Anthony Wayne. He also was a farmer, and a horse breeder. Her mother did everything around the house. When Clara was at the age of fifteen she taught at the local schools in Massachusetts. This was just the beginning of Clara’s career in helping people.

In 1850, Clara went to Bordentown, New Jersey to teach. In New Jersey the students had to pay to attend school so there was a very small number. Clara offered to teach without a salary if the students no longer had to pay. She was later given the pride of creating the first free school in New Jersey, but when a male administrator came, Clara retired. Later in the year of 1853, Clara had an appointment in Washington D.C. in the Patent Office as a copyist. Clara was the first woman to ever hold such a high government placement job. She kept this job until April of 1861, then the Civil War broke out. Clara really wanted to help the soldiers in the war, so she gave up her job. After the Civil War had started, Clara determined to be a part of the Federal troops.

Clara Barton did lots of things during the Civil War. When the war first started, Clara got permission from the War Department to go to the front lines of the battlefields and care for hurt soldiers. Later, she was given the right from General William Hammond to ride in the army ambulances to provide comfort and give them health care. Clara was known as the Angel of the Battlefield. She almost lost her life many times, but she keep on taking care of injured soldiers. Clara Barton really helped the soldiers. She comforted the soldiers, brought them food, and prepared their food. Through her years she was able to bring many soldiers back to their family. Clara was present with federal forces during the siege of Charleston, South Carolina, and also at engagements in the Wilderness and at Fredericksburg, Virginia, and elsewhere. In 1865, President Abraham Lincoln placed Clara in charge of looking for missing soldiers. After the war was over, Clara was placed in Andersonville, Georgia, to set up and mark the graves of Union soldiers buried there. Barton listed these names in newspapers and wrote letters back and forth with soldiers' families. Clara Barton lectured about her Civil War activities until she started having health problems. Then in 1869, Clara's doctors recommended her to a restful trip to Europe, and this is where Clara come involved with ICRC or better known as International Committee of the Red Cross.

external image ClaraB.jpgClara Barton began her Red Cross career at 56. She became the president of the American Red Cross in 1881. Clara brought the Red Cross to the U.S. knowing that we could use it. Barton attended all the meetings as the American representative. As a Red Cross worker, she went to Michigan, and Charleston, S.C. which both had suffered from an earthquake. Then she traveled to the Ohio River, supplying food for flood victims. She also completed many other wonderful and helpful tasks as she was in the Red Cross. Then in 1900 Congress reincorporated the Red Cross, demanding an accounting of funds. By 1904 the public pressures and decisions within the Red Cross was way to much for Clara in her 70s. On June 16 she resigned from the Red Cross. Later Clara retired to her home in Glen Echo, Maryland, where she died on April 12, 1912.

Clara Barton accomplished many things during her lifetime. During the Civil War soldiers depended on her for many things. Then after that she still continued to help people, until she was unable. Clara still tired to help after she was having health problems, and that shows how much she really wanted to help people. When she started working with the ICRC, she took it father to help people. Clara Barton helped soldiers and victims from all types of storms. She did so many to help back then, and still does. Today the Red Cross wouldn't be were it is without Clara Barton. Helping carry on the Red Cross has help save many lives. Not just normal people, but our soldiers in the war. They still need the health care that Barton gave to soldiers when she was helping with war. Today soldiers still use the Red Cross in so many ways. The nation, soldiers, people, and places would not be as well as they are now with it. Now that Clara took the Red Cross so serious and so far, soldiers now have answers to things they never knew they had. Without the help of the Red Cross a lot more soldiers would probably be dead or very ill. The Red Cross also just hasn't helped soldiers with sicknesses. It has helped with so much more it and will continue to do so thanks to such a great American citizen. Clara Barton was truly a great American who dedicated her life to helping others, and taking care of them.