Clara Barton’s Missing Soldiers Office -- Exhibit: Standard Placards:
Bruce Guthrie Photos Home Page: [Click here] to go to Bruce Guthrie Photos home page.
Recognize anyone? If you recognize specific folks (or other stuff) and I haven't labeled them, please identify them for the world. Click the little pencil icon underneath the file name (just above the picture). Spammers need not apply.
Slide Show: Want to see the pictures as a slide show?
Copyrights: All pictures were taken by amateur photographer Bruce Guthrie (me!) who retains copyright on them. Free for non-commercial use with attribution. See the [Creative Commons] definition of what this means. "Photos (c) Bruce Guthrie" is fine for attribution. (Commercial use folks can of course contact me.) Feel free to use in publications and pages with attribution but you don't have permission to sell the photos themselves. A free copy of any printed publication using any photographs is requested. Descriptive text, if any, is from a mixture of sources, quite frequently from signs at the location or from official web sites; copyrights, if any, are retained by their original owners.
Specific picture descriptions: Photos above with "i" icons next to the bracketed sequence numbers (e.g. " ") are described as follows:
CBMSOP_120412_01.JPG: Clara Barton Lived and Worked Here
In 1997, the US General Services Administration (GSA) discovered clothing, papers, and other nineteenth century items in the attic of 437 Seventh Street, NW. This discovery brought attention to a suite of rooms on the third floor that had served as Clara Barton's home, storeroom, and office. The rooms and artifacts, including a sign identifying Room 9 as the Missing Soldiers Office, provide new insight into Clara Barton's experience of the Civil War and her efforts to relieve the suffering of Union soldiers and their families. GSA maintains a preservation easement on the third floor. Work is underway to conserve these spaces and open them to the public as a museum.
Hundreds of Socks
Among the artifacts found in the attic above Clara Barton's rooms were 171 whole socks, as well as nearly 100 carefully severed sock tops and bottoms. Why save dirty and worn socks? Harsh weather conditions and constant walking took a toll on soldiers' feet. Fresh socks were needed to prevent blisters, frostbite, and gangrene. Unprepared for the war, the Union Army could not keep the troops adequately supplied. Charitable organizations, such as the Sanitary Commission, exhorted women to knit socks for soldiers. Perhaps Clara Barton collected these used cotton socks on the battlefield, bringing them home to wash, mend, and eventually redistribute to troops.
"It was a kind of a tent life, but she was happy in it."
-- Frances Vassall, close friend of Clara Barton
Even in the turbulent war years, Clara Barton strove to make her quarters as attractive and functional as possible. Evidence of her activities can be seen in the large room created by removing dividing walls to accommodate battlefield supplies; the mail slot cut into the office door to accommodate the volumes of correspondence for the Missing Soldiers Office; and the number 9 painted on the door, corresponding to the sign directing visitors up the steep stairs to the third story. The white striped wallpaper still hanging in her small personal chamber and the trove of colorful paper remnants found in the attic tell of her love of pattern and skill at creating "home" wherever she went.
21,000 Families Received Letters
In early spring 1865, the closing days of the Civil War, Clara Barton found herself inundated with requests from families anxious for word of their missing loved ones. In response, she established the Office of Correspondence with Friends of the Missing Men of the U.S. Army (Missing Soldiers Office). But how did Barton and a handful of clerks manage to provide information to over 21,000 families in the span of less than four years, using nineteenth-century technology and operating out of her rooms in this building? Although Barton and her assistants wrote an astonishing 41,855 letters, even more was accomplished using form letters. Preprinted for a variety of purposes, 58,693 form letters were sent as part of a highly efficient information exchange. In addition, 1,500 names were printed on large sheets titled, "Roll of Missing Soldiers." These rolls were posted throughout the country, with the request that information be sent to the office at 437 Seventh Street. By the end of 1868, five editions were published and 99,057 copies distributed.
In cooperation with the General Services Administration (GSA), the National Museum of Civil War Medicine is developing an interpretive program to operate a museum focused on Clara Barton's period of occupancy in GSA's preservation easement species. The museum is scheduled to open in 2011.
Bigger photos? To save server space, the full-sized versions of these images have either not been loaded to the server or have been removed from the server. (Only some pages are loaded with full-sized images and those usually get removed after three months.)
I still have them though. If you want me to email them to you, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
and I can email them to you, or, depending on the number of images, just repost the page again will the full-sized images.
Directly Related Pages: Other pages with content (Clara Barton’s Missing Soldiers Office -- Exhibit: Standard Placards) directly related to this one:
[Display ALL photos on one page]:
2022_DC_CBMSO_Placards: Clara Barton’s Missing Soldiers Office -- Exhibit: Standard Placards (53 photos from 2022)
2018_DC_CBMSO_Placards: Clara Barton’s Missing Soldiers Office -- Exhibit: Standard Placards (9 photos from 2018)
2015_DC_CBMSO_Placards: Clara Barton’s Missing Soldiers Office -- Exhibit: Standard Placards (60 photos from 2015)
2014_DC_CBMSO_Placards: Clara Barton’s Missing Soldiers Office -- Exhibit: Standard Placards (40 photos from 2014)
2010_DC_CBMSO_Placards: Clara Barton’s Missing Soldiers Office -- Exhibit: Standard Placards (3 photos from 2010)
Generally-Related Pages: Other pages with content (DC -- Penn Qtr -- Clara Barton’s Missing Soldiers Office (437 7th St NW)) somewhat related to this one:
[Display ALL photos on one page]:
2022_DC_CBMSO_PW: Clara Barton’s Missing Soldiers Office -- Peter Waddell Mural (5 photos from 2022)
2019_DC_CBMSO_PW: Clara Barton’s Missing Soldiers Office -- Peter Waddell Mural (94 photos from 2019)
2018_DC_CBMSO_PW: Clara Barton’s Missing Soldiers Office -- Peter Waddell Mural (94 photos from 2018)
2014_DC_CBMSO_Doorsteps: Clara Barton’s Missing Soldiers Office -- Exhibit: War on Our Doorsteps (21 photos from 2014)
2018_DC_CBMSO_Doorsteps: Clara Barton’s Missing Soldiers Office -- Exhibit: War on Our Doorsteps (43 photos from 2018)
2012 photos: Equipment this year: My mainstays were the Fuji S100fs, Nikon D7000, and the new Fuji X-S1. I also used an underwater Fuji XP50 and a Nikon D600. The first three cameras all broke this year and had to be repaired.
Trips this year:
three Civil War Trust conferences (Shepherdstown, WV, Richmond, VA, and Williamsburg, VA),
a week-long family reunion cruise of the Caribbean,
another week-long family reunion in the Wisconsin Dells (with lots of in-transit time in Ohio and Indiana), and
my 7th consecutive San Diego Comic-Con trip (including side trips to Zion, Bryce, the Grand Canyon, etc).
Ego strokes: I had a picture of Miss DC, Ashley Boalch, published in the Washington Post. I had a photograph of the George Segal San Francisco Holocaust memorial used as the cover of Quebec Francais (issue 165). Not being able to read French, I'm not entirely sure what the article is about but, hey! And I guess what could be considered to be a positive thing, my site is now established enough that spammers have noticed it and I had to block 17,000 file description postings for Viagra and whatever else..
Number of photos taken this year: just below 410,000.
Connection Not Secure messages? Those warnings you get from your browser about this site not having secure connections worry some people. This means this site does not have SSL installed (the link is http:, not https:). That's bad if you're entering credit card numbers, passwords, or other personal information. But this site doesn't collect any personal information so SSL is not necessary. Life's good!
Limiting Text: You can turn off all of this text by clicking this link: