Angels of the Battlefield

By: Alexa Everhart

Facts on Angels of the Battlefield and Clara Barton

  • Clara Barton started her life as a teacher at the age of fifteen. She later helped establish a school in New Jersey. When the Civil War started and after she saw the sixth Massachusetts regiment come through Washington she made a relief program to help the soldiers. This is where she decided to help soldiers in the Civil War.
  • Clara Barton first started by distributing and collecting supplies for the Union Army. Later she served as an independent nurse and saw her first combat in Fredericksburg, Virginia, in 1862. After she cared for soldiers at Antietam, she was nicknamed "the angel of the battlefield.
  • About two thousand women volunteered as nurses in military hospitals in the Civil War, as the nation struggled and needed people to help in the Civil War.
  • Louisa May Alcott, Jane Stuart Woolsey, and Katherine Prescott Wormeley were some women who volunteered as nurses and experienced the bloody side of the war first hand with amputated limbs, mutilated bodies, disease, and death.
  • Some of the nurses that entered to aid the soldiers were Roman Catholic Sisters who came from Europe with nursing skills and training. About 600 Roman Catholic Sisters came. They established 28 hospitals and served for both the Union and the Confederacy.
  • At first the Union and the Confederacy were a little bit hesitant to use female nurses. Many also saw it as inappropriate for women to be involved with physical contact with the men that nursing required them to do, but there was a need for nurses, so President Abraham Lincoln requested them.
  • About 9,000 women nursed for the Union Army and about 1,000 women nursed for the Confederacy.