Presenting Clara Barton, the Angel of the Battlefield during the American Civil War!
Clarissa Harlowe Barton is a remarkable hero. She served as a field nurse, gathered and transported much-needed supplies (once, she brought bandages to units who had been forced to use corn husks to bind with), and founded the American branch of the Red Cross. She also recorded the personal information of soldiers she treated and started the Bureau of Records of Missing Men of the Armies of the United States to confirm the statuses of missing soldiers and contact their families.
Click here for a concise yet thorough description of her life and accomplishments.
I just got back from a trip to South Carolina, the state John Laurens called home! For those of you who don't know, John Laurens was a Continental soldier during the American Revolutionary War. He served as an aide-de-camp to General Washington and led troops in his home state. Also, Laurens was an abolitionist, writing essays on the subject and campaigning for a batallion which would offer slaves freedom in exchange for service. He doesn't get a lot of attention, but has been getting more since appearing in the Hamilton musical.
On my trip, I got to visit Mepkin, the estate where he was born and raised. It's a gorgeous place. Now it's a monastery, but it's fun to imagine what it would have been like to grow up there. The sketch above is a young Laurens reading in the garden at Mepkin.
Though Laurens's house is no longer there, his grave is, along with that of his parents and several siblings and nieces and nephews. My sister laid flowers on his grave. I highly recommend visiting.