Clara Barton was born on December 25, 1821 in Oxford, Massachusetts. From early childhood she had a great interest in the military, because her father would tell her stories of when he was a soldier.
When Clara was eleven years old, her brother David was injured and she had to take care of him for two years straight. This gave her further practice for her occupation in the future.
When she was 15, she began teaching, and taught until she was 33 years old in 1854. Then she moved to Washington D.C. In April 1861, the Sixth Massachusetts Regiment arrived in Washington D.C. and Clara rushed for supplies with which to care for them.
At the Battle of Bull Run in the Civil War, Clara ran out of supplies and put an ad in a newspaper asking for donations. Needless to say, she received a lot of supplies and was very well off from that point forward.
In 1862, Clara's permission was granted to travel where the ill soldiers were taken so she could further take care of them, and she did for the rest of the war.
For four years after the war had ended, Clara participated in many groups. She first supervised a missing soldier search, and then for a while helped Susan B. Anthony with the suffrage movement. She also became a black rights activist.
In 1869, Clara went vacationing in Europe, but instead found herself helping the International Red Cross. When she returned home in 1873, she returned with the Iron Cross of Merit from the German Emperor.
The US didn't have a Red Cross like she had participated in while in Europe, so she decided to create it in the United States. In 1881, the National Society of the Red Cross was organized and she was able to build the headquarters a block from the White House in Washington D.C. with donated money from John D. Rockefeller. Since she founded it, she became its first president, and directed the Red Cross' activities for 23 years.
In 1898, she traveled to Cuba with supplies and even spent six weeks in Galveston, Texas, helping with the flood control. However, in 1904, she resigned at 82 years old.
Clara died in Glen Echo, Maryland, in 1912. Her body was shipped back and buried in Oxford, Massachusetts. She is now known as the "Angel of the Battlefield."
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