DC -- Clara Barton’s Missing Soldiers Office -- Exhibit: Standard Placards:
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CBMSOP_101104_04.JPG: Clara Barton:
Clara Barton was born in North Oxford, Massachusetts, on December 25, 1821. Barton's first nursing experience was in 1832, when she nursed her older brother back to health after he fell from a barn roof. She received a teaching certificate on May 5, 1839, and then taught at District School Number Nine in Massachusetts. In 1853, Barton moved to Bordentown, New Jersey, to work at a private school. She soon realized the need for free education in the area, and opened the first free public school in New Jersey. In 1854, Judge Charles Mason offered Barton a job as a clerk at the Patent Office in Washington, DC, and she worked there until the start of the war.
In April 1861, Barton encouraged civilians to donate supplies such as bandages, salves, canned food, and clothing for wounded Union soldiers that were brought to Washington DC. Soon after the war started, Barton realized that there was a lack of medical supplies, food, and water at the front lines, and as a result, numerous soldiers were dying. Therefore, Barton begun [sic] gathering supplies and taking them directly to the battlefield, where they were most needed.
On August 9, 1862, at the Battle of Cedar Mountain, in Culpeper, Virginia, she distributed bandages and dressings to surgeons and handed out supplies, such as coffee and crackers, to wounded solders. On September 17, 1862, at the Battle of Antietam, in Sharpsburg, Maryland, Barton provided surgeons with medical supplies and brought water to thirsty soldiers at the Samuel Poffenberger Farm. In addition, she performed minor surgery when she removed a bullet from a soldier's cheek with a pocket knife.
"I may be compelled to face danger, but never fear it, and while our soldiers can stand and fight, I can stand and feed and nurse them." -- Clara Barton
"She was perhaps the most perfect incarnation of mercy the modern world has known." -- Detroit Free Press, upon her death in 1912
Barton attended to soldiers on the battlefield in December 1862, at Fredericksburg, Virginia, and in 1863, at Morris Island, South Carolina. Barton was known to treat wounded soldiers from both sides equally. In 1864, General Benjamin F. Butler appointed Barton as a supervisor of nurses for the Army of the James. On March 11, 1865, President Lincoln allowed Barton to establish a list of missing Union Soldiers to help gather information on them for their inquiring families. Later that year, Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War, granted permission for Barton to travel to Andersonville, Georgia, with former prisoner Dorrence Atwater, to identify unmarked graves at the prison camp. She successfully identified all but 400 of the nearly 13,000 graves, helping in the establishment of the National Cemetery near the former camp.
In Europe in 1864, the Committee of the International Red Cross was established as a result of the treaty proposed at the Geneva Convention. The treaty dealt with the treatment of wounded soldiers, prisoners of war, and civilians during war time. Barton learned of the organization while in Europe after the war, and pushed to get the United States to sign the treaty. In 1881, she established the American Association of the Red Cross and was elected president.
Barton assisted soldiers in the Franco-Prussian War and in the Spanish-American War. Her organization also provided relief for civilians in natural disasters such as the 1888 yellow fever epidemic on Jacksonville, Florida, and the 1889 flood in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. In 1892, Barton traveled as far as Russia to organize relief for victims of famine and draught. She resigned as president of the American Red Cross in 1904. Barton died in Glen Echo, Maryland, on April 12, 1912, and was buried in North Oxford, Massachusetts.
CBMSOP_101104_07.JPG: November 4, 2010,
Welcome to Clara Barton's Missing Soldier's Office:
As we prepare to commemorate the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War, the National Museum of Civil War Medicine is proud to have been selected by the General Services Administration (GSA) to remember a woman who worked tirelessly tending to wounds that no bandage or medicine could heal. Her third floor walk-up would become headquarters for the research and recovery of information about a family's son, husband, brother, or betrothed -- a place where in the aftermath of a horrific civil war, there was a possibility of reunion or at the very least, closure.
Though most of us have heard of Clara Barton, Angel of the Battlefield, the opening of Clara Barton's Missing Soldier's Office Museum will give us an opportunity to know and understand a complete person. A woman, who broke glass ceilings before there was even a term for such a thing; a woman who exemplified the servant leader; a woman who's [sic] life and work embodied the true spirit of humanitarianism, will finally be given the recognition that she so richly deserves.
The National Museum of Civil War Medicine is the premier center for the preservation and research of the legacy of Civil War Medicine innovation and humanitarianism. As a living institution, we utilize artifacts, storytelling and the historic lessons derived from that era to educate the public and define the impact on today's society.
I believe that if we study history for history's sake, then it is no more than a hobby. But when we are able to engage a modern audience with historical perspectives, innovations and insights and help them to relate those innovations and insights directly to their life and world today, we are helping to change our community and our world for the better. The Board of Directors and Staff of the NMCWM are honored to bring Clara Barton's life and legacy into clearer focus as we prepare to open the Clara Barton Missing Soldier's Office Museum.
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Generally-Related Subject Description: "I have an almost complete disregard of precedent, and a faith in the possibility of something better. It irritates me to be told how things have always been done. I defy the tyranny of precedent." -Clara Barton (1821 to 1912)
Clara Barton's life of service has been a role model for generations of nurses, teachers, social workers, doctors, and allied health professionals. A new generation of executives and public servants value the leadership and strong work ethic she exhibited with profound dedication to her cause. She cared little for personal comforts, instead choosing to comfort others.
In her time, Barton was called a philanthropist. Although that term today often connotes someone who has money and gives some of it to help others, in the 19th century it had a more direct meaning: one who for love of his fellow men exerts himself for their well-being. Her work during the Civil War is a striking example of true philanthropy: how one individual can make a difference in the lives of others.
"What she did in nursing is incredibly important and we don’t want to diminish that at all. But to say that Clara Barton is a nurse is a gross understatement of her importance. The fact is that she was a relief organizer at a time when women didn’t do that. At a time when women found that they had to get men involved in order to be taken seriously, Clara Barton bucked that system." George Wunderlich, Executive Director, NMCWM
Clara Barton’s Missing Soldiers Office was originally rediscovered by Richard Lyons of the General Services Administration (GSA) in 1996, when the building was scheduled for demolition. Located on 7th street, NW, Washington D.C., the site is the location where Clara Barton lived during and immediately after the Civil War. She used this property not only as a place to live, but also to store the supplies she received for her work on the battlefield, and later as an office to handle correspondence concerning missing soldiers.
2010 photos: Equipment this year: I mostly used the Fuji S100fs until the third one broke and I started sending them back for repairs. Then I used either the Fuji S200EHX or the Nikon D90 until I got the S100fs ones repaired. At the end of the year I bought a Nikon D5000 but I returned it pretty quickly.
Trips this year: I've got so many local commitments that I'm having trouble getting away. I drove out to Lexington, Kentucky to cover the Civil War Preservation Trust's annual conference in June. I flew out to California and Nevada for two weeks in July for the San Diego Comic-Con. I flew to Nashville to cover the Civil War Preservation Trust's Grand Review conference in September.
My office at the main Commerce Department building closed in October and I was shifted out to the Bureau of the Census in Suitland Maryland. It's good to have a job of course but that killed being able to see basically any cultural events during the day. There's basically nothing of interest that you can see around the Census building.
Number of photos taken this year: about 395,000..