Clara Barton: The Role Of Women In The Civil War

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More than 600 women disguised themselves as men and fought in the American Civil War. In the American Civil War, women disguised themselves as soldiers and were spies for their army. Women also had important roles in the war as nurses and sanitation officers. One of the most helpful, influential women for sanitation would be Clara Barton, who later founder the American Red Cross. Women’s roles in the Civil War had just as much impact as the men had. One thing women did was disguise themselves as soldiers and were spies for their army. There were women spies for Union and Confederate armies. Some well known Union spies were Harriet Tubman, Pauline Cushman, and Mary Elizabeth Bowser. Well known Confederate spies were Belle Boyd, Rose O’Neal Greenhow,…show more content…
Lee, who praised her but he hoped that no other women would want to become doctors. (Somervill, 11) She opened her own practice in New York in 1851 and had only a few patients at first. (Somervill, 58) As soon as the Civil War started she started helping the war effort immediately. 50 women attended her first meeting at the infirmary at Fort Sumter. The women collected canned foods, blankets, socks, books, and writing paper along with money. Elizabeth became one of the major organizers of the Women’s Central Relief Association; 4,000 people attended the first major meeting of the WCRA. The WCRA eventually chose her to be in charge of training new nurses. (Somervill, 71-72) Other women planted gardens, cooked, and canned food. They also sewed uniforms, blankets, and socks. The army was grateful for supplies but didn’t like female nurses, they thought it was immoral and low class. (Somervill, 74) Since women enjoyed helping in the war, a major medical association was created years later because of them. Because of women’s roles in the American Civil War, the American Red Cross was created about 20 years later in 1882. The maker of the American Red Cross was Clara Barton. Clara had been a volunteer in the Franco-Prussian War with the International Committee of the Red Cross. (Nardo, 79) Clara was well known for her nursing skills on the battlefield. Clara didn’t think of herself as a hero though. She only thought she was fulfilling a need, this is how she became known as the ‘Angel of the Battlefield’. (Nardo, 17) The soldiers loved seeing her help

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