One of the lesser-known aspects of Clara Barton's humanitarian efforts is that she created the Missing Soldiers Office in March of 1865, and operated the service for nearly four years. The MSO helped to find information on missing Civil War soldiers, an effort that brought closure to grieving families who otherwise may never have learned the final fate of their loved ones.
Inquiries would come into the office and the names would be checked against known burial lists, hospital records, prison rolls and casualty lists. Appeals would be published in newspapers across the country and forwarded to veterans asking for information on missing men. Approximately 63,000 letters of inquiry were received, and Barton and her assistants successfully located information related to the final dispositions of over 22,000 missing men.