Woman's Work in the Civil War: A Record of Heroism, Patriotism and Patience

By L. P. Brockett; Mary C. Vaughan | Go to book overview

CLARA HARLOWE BARTON.*

OF those whom the first blast of the war trump roused and called to lives of patriotic devotion and philanthropic endeavor, some were led instinctively to associated labor, and found their zeal inflamed, their patriotic efforts cheered and encouraged by communion with those who were like-minded. To these the organizations of the Soldiers' Aid Societies and of the Sanitary and Christian Commissions were a necessity; they provided a place and way for the exercise and development of those capacities for noble and heroic endeavor, and generous self-sacrifice, so gloriously manifested by many of our American women, and which it has given us so much pleasure to record in these pages.

But there were others endowed by their Creator with greater independence of character and higher executive powers, who while not less modest and retiring in disposition than their sisters, yet preferred to mark out their own career, and pursue a comparatively independent course. They worked harmoniously with the various sanitary and other organizations when brought into contact with them, but their work was essentially distinct from them, and was pursued without interfering in any way with that of others.

____________________
*
In the preparation of this sketch of Miss Barton, we have availed ourselves, as far as practicable, of a paper prepared for us by a clerical friend of the lady, who had known her from childhood. The passages from this paper are indicated by quotation marks.

-111-

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