Clara Barton; Angel of the Battlefield

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Clara Barton; Angel of the Battlefield 

March marks the month of Woman’s History. Donating years of her life to help those around her, Clara Barton was known as the “angel of the battlefield.” Born in Oxford, Massachusetts, Clara Barton played many different roles including an educator, a member in the U.S. patent office, and founder of the American Red Cross.

As a child, Barton took care of her brother after his accident. Little did she know, her passion of helping others would inspire her years later. At the age of 15, Clara Barton became a teacher and opened a free public school in New Jersey. Although, she didn’t stop here. The Civil War would mark some of Barton’s biggest successes, including the American Red Cross, and her work as the “angel of the battlefield.”

Clara Barton was one of the first nurses to serve in the Civil War. Working independently, Barton provided necessitates for soldiers by collecting and distributing supplies for the Union Army. She also cared for soldiers wounded at Antietam. She was known for her work on the battlefield, and was not afraid to get in the action. Barton was not one to “sit on the sidelines”.

In March, President Abraham Lincoln appointed her “General Correspondent for the Friends of Paroled Prisoners.” Barton was responsible for responding to friends and relatives of missing soldiers by locating them among the prison rolls, parole rolls, or casualty lists. Because this task was a lot to take on for one individual, Barton established the “Bureau of Records of Missing Men of the Armies of the United States.”

After the war ended in 1865, Clara Barton worked for the War Department. She helped soldiers reunite to their families, and also became a lecturer to talk about her war experiences.

While on a trip to Europe, Clara Barton worked with an organization known as the “International Red Cross”. Because of her interests in the organization, Clara Barton began to wager for an American Red Cross branch. Her passion and willingness to help others shined through in 1881 when the American Red Cross Society was founded, and she served as their first president. The American Red Cross Society worked with victims of the 1889 Johnstown Flood and the 1900 Galveston Flood.

After years of service, Clara Barton finally retired from the American Red Cross in 1904, but continued to share her life experiences in lectures to educate others.

Barton’s life was dedicated to helping others, and for that she is a very important character in Woman’s History. She will always be honored for her brave acts and willingness to take care of the ones around her. The angel of the battlefield lives on, and her accomplishments will never be forgotten.

The Clara Barton Birthplace Museum is located in Oxford, Massachusetts, one town over from Long Subaru! To learn more about Clara Barton’s life and take a walk through her childhood home, please visit the Clara Barton Birth Place at





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