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Clara Barton
Clara Barton.
Courtesy, Library of Congress.

Clara Barton at Antietam

At Antietam, also, was Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross. On this field of desolation, long after the guns had ceased, Miss Barton was still busily rendering care to the wounded and dying. Having arrived early in the day in the northern area of battle, she witnessed the wounded men of Sedgwick's depleted ranks streaming to the cover of North and East Woods. By midmorning her wagonload of supplies, donated by the citizens of Washington, had arrived. She worked tirelessly with army surgeons at the field hospital on the Joseph Poffenberger farm. Her supply of bandages, linens, anesthetics, and oil lanterns replenished the surgeons' urgent need of dressings and provided light to carry on through the night. So outstanding were her services on the field of battle that she later received official recognition by the United States Army Medical Corps. Her work here and later would become basic to the establishment of the American Red Cross.

citizen volunteers assisting the wounded
Citizen volunteers assisting the wounded at Antietam.
From wartime sketch by Waud. Courtesy, Library of Congress.

Barn near Keedysville
Barn near Keedysville, used as field hospital after the battle.
Courtesy, National Archives.

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Last Modified: Mon, Mar 4 2002 10:00:00 pm PDT

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