Woman of Valor by Stephen B. Oates

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Synopsis

When the Civil War broke out, Clara Barton wanted more than anything to be a Union soldier, an impossible dream for a thirty-nine-year-old woman, who stood a slender five feet tall. Determined to serve, she became a veritable soldier, a nurse, and a one-woman relief agency operating in the heart of the conflict. Now, award-winning author Stephen B. Oates, drawing on archival materials not used by her previous biographers, has written the first complete account of Clara Barton's active engagement in the Civil War.

By the summer of 1862, with no institutional affiliation or official government appointment, but impelled by a sense of duty and a need to heal, she made her way to the front lines and the heat of battle. Oates tells the dramatic story of this woman who gave the world a new definition of courage, supplying medical relief to the wounded at some of the most famous battles of the war -- including Second Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Battery Wagner, the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, and Petersburg. Under fire with only her will as a shield, she worked while ankle deep in gore, in hellish makeshift battlefield hospitals -- a bullet-riddled farmhouse, a crumbling mansion, a windblown tent. Committed to healing soldiers' spirits as well as their bodies, she served not only as nurse and relief worker, but as surrogate mother, sister, wife, or sweetheart to thousands of sick, wounded, and dying men.

Her contribution to the Union was incalculable and unique. It also became the defining event in Barton's life, giving her the opportunity as a woman to reach out for a new role and to define a new profession. Nursing, regarded as a menial service before the war, became a trained, paid occupation after the conflict. Although Barton went on to become the founder and first president of the Red Cross, the accomplishment for which she is best known, A Woman of Valor convinces us that her experience on the killing fields of the Civil War was her most extraordinary achievement.
 

About Stephen B. Oates

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Stephen B. Oates is the author of sixteen books, inc " Stephen B. Oates is the author of sixteen books, including "The Approaching Fury; With Malice Toward None: A Lifluding "The Approaching Fury; With Malice Toward None: A Life of Abraham Lincoln " and " Let the Trumpet Sound: A Life oe of Abraham Lincoln " and " Let the Trumpet Sound: A Life of Martin Luther King, Jr., " the latter two books winning, rf Martin Luther King, Jr., " the latter two books winning, respectively, the Christopher Award and the Robert F. Kennedyespectively, the Christopher Award and the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Book Award. They have been translated into several Memorial Book Award. They have been translated into several languages.Oates was a consultant and "talking head" in K languages.Oates was a consultant and "talking head" in Ken Burns's "Civil War " series on PBS, and is a recipient ofen Burns's "Civil War " series on PBS, and is a recipient of the Nevins-Freeman Award of the Chicago Civil War Round Tab the Nevins-Freeman Award of the Chicago Civil War Round Table for lifetime achievement in the field of Civil War studiele for lifetime achievement in the field of Civil War studies. A teacher at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, hes. A teacher at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, he is now writing the concluding book of the Voices of Storm t is now writing the concluding book of the Voices of Storm trilogy, about the years of Reconstruction, 1865-1877. rilogy, about the years of Reconstruction, 1865-1877.
 
Published May 1, 1995 by Free Press. 527 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, War, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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A lively account of Clara Barton's life during the Civil War that reveals both the character of this compelling woman and the awfulness of war.

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Publishers Weekly

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Overcoming her initial inhibitions and demonstrating that women were more broadly capable than had been accepted, Barton, who founded the American Red Cross, opened the door for women in professions and politics during the second half of the 19th century.

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