"I have been permitted to stand by your loved ones when the trial hour came..."
For some, service to their country ended with the Civil War. For Clara Barton, this was the beginning. Barton, a forty year old teacher, patent clerk and patriot, was frustrated by reports of inadequate relief supplies at battlefields. She gathered needed items and transported them to the front.
At Antietam, Miss Barton followed the sound of artillery and arrived on this part of the battlefield. She delivered bandages and lanterns to field hospitals. Clara Barton and her staff of thirty men prepared gruel (meal mixed with warm water) which they carried out to feed the wounded and dying where they fell. She worked here for three days, providing whatever assistance she could. This is just one of the many battlefields on which Miss Barton worked.
After the war, Barton established the Friends of the Missing Men of the United States Army, an organization which located the graves of missing U.S. soldiers. She established the American Association of the International Red Cross in 1881, adding civilian disaster relief to its mandate of providing neutral assistance during war, and in 1904, Clara Barton established the American First Aid Association.