Free «Clara Barton in the Civil War» Essay Sample


The paper is a critical analysis of the leadership qualities deemed effective portrayed by Clara Barton during the civil war. Similarly, the future consequences as a result of her action basically in terms of her role in nursing as well as founding the American Red Cross are of interest in this paper. Effective leadership has been defined as the way of showing others the way forward by influencing their actions, beliefs and feelings by employing the most appropriate style at their disposal in light of the situation at hand (Harris, 2002). Clarissa Harlowe Barton has been though of as a caring individual who was capable of drawing encouragement for her strong will and determination from the Civil War battlefields. She is well known for being the founder of American Red Cross. Previously, she was also hailed for being a nurse who actively and [passionately cared for the wounded soldiers during the civil war era. This earned her the phrase "Angel of the Battlefield."

Life of Clara Barton and her contributions

Clarissa Barton was born back in 1821 25th December in North Oxford, Massachusetts to Steven and Sara, who were horse breeder, farmer and homemaker respectively. She was the youngest of the family five children. It was his brother who took the responsibility of footing her education bills. In her teenage age she began teaching in Massachusetts. Other siblings helped in teaching her various things such as arithmetic, athletics, and geography. All these things contributed to her being a well educated person. In school she studied subjects such as philosophy, Latin ad chemistry. She was very shy. After teaching for almost for a period of ten years and establishing her own school, at 29 years old she opted to change her career.  For that reason she ended up in Liberal Institute in Clinton which was an advanced institution of learning where she learnt writing as well as French. She found herself in crossroad when a man was hired to be on the realm of the school she formed. It was amazing that by the end of the first years there were slightly above 600 students.

She later resigns and took a job of a copyist in the U.S. Patent Office being the first woman to be in such a position in federal government. She held the position for a period 3 years from 1854 through 1857 and later in 1860. When the civil war broke out, Clara resigned from the position as a copyist and volunteered to help the soldiers who were seriously wounded. She actively took part in advertising supplies as well as distributing bandages, socks, food and other basic goods as well as services with the aim of helping the wounded soldiers. Although her efforts were initially no supported especially by surgeons, in 1862, she was given the go a head to deliver supplies to the front. This she diligently did without failing for period of two consecutive years.

While volunteering, she had the courage of cradling the heads of the wounded soldiers, made for them something to eat from a local farmhouse. Similarly, she tirelessly engaged in the activity of bringing water to the soldiers. This was despite the fact that bullets were whizzing as artilleries boomed within range. It is worth noting that she did not get tired of helping those men; she worked till dark comforting the men as well as assisting the doctors with what they were doing. It is worth noting that during that time, when darkness fell, there were sources of light; this problem was curbed by Clara providing the doctors lanterns which were among the thing she had collected and included in her supplies.

Her ability to help other can be traced to when she was by her brother who fell ill after falling from the family incomplete house. She took the responsibility of being with him and administering his medication. Clara stood by his side for two years aiding him back to health. It is at this period in time that that she learned a lot regarding medicine and its usage. Her live was then turned and she considered being of help to other individuals especially those having various problems ranging from medication to lack of basic need such as food and shelter. At the end of the war, she had been acknowledged and given the title of a superintendent. At the same time, the American government gave her a go ahead in trying to document for the soldiers who were lost. With other individuals, Clara was able to identify about 13,000 graves at Georgia. Other information regarding lost soldiers was made public through Northern Newspaper. This made it possible for friends and family members of the lost soldier to see such information.

For the period running from 1866 though 1868, she spent most of her times in giving lecture regarding her experiences in the battle field. During this time after visiting various places such as New York, she encountered physical fatigue and was advised to rest. However, within a shorter period of time, she when to Switzerland where learned about international committee of the Red Cross. Between 1870 and 1871, she actively took part in helping victims affected by the Franco-Prusssian War. She is remembered for setting up shops that played a major role in ensuring that women could earn a living from sewing. His among other initiative made her recognized for various accolade which included Iron Cross of Merit awarded by the German Emperor. In 1873, she encountered health problems which prompted her to go back to U.S. In New York she spent most of her time in Our Home on the Hillside.

Between 1876 and 1886 although she was advised to retire, she engaged in activities aimed at bettering the live of the general public. One notable result is the effort she made in creating the American Red Cross. On top of that she gave many speeches that were encouraging.  In the year 1881, after tirelessly working for the establishment of American association of the Red Cross, the fruits were bore in that year as the organization was founded. The first local Red Cross started in St. Paul united Lutheran church. It is worth noting that between the years 1881 and 1904, she devoted her time in developing the national organization of Red Cross. In 1883, she was the superintendent of the Women's Reformatory Prison.  

She was later compelled to move to Washington to be able to [properly manage the running of the organization. She was in the fore front in helping prove aid to individuals in various locations struck by disasters. One notable natural calamity that she actively took part in helping the victims was the one in 1900 in Texas, the Johnstown Flood and Glaveston. Additionally, at 70 she went to Cuba to supply basic needs to civilians during the Spanish-American war.

Seven years after moving to Washington, Clara went to Glen Echo from where she continued with her efforts of managing the day to day running of the organization. She resigned in 1094. It is worth noting that apart from the responsibilities previously mentioned herein, Clara was an ardent suffrage supporter. In the years between 1893 and 1902, she gave various speeches in National American Woman Suffrage Association. In 1909, Clara served on an honorary position as an advisor in the association. Due to old age and health problem she was not able to attend conventions related to women. Nonetheless, she more often than not sends letters that showed her support and were read to the audiences present.

Additionally, Clara wrote various literature among them History of Rd Cross back in 1882, 17 years later she wrote The Red Cross in Peace and War. Five years before her death, she published The Story of My Childhood. After retiring in 1904, she realized that to curb the depression that pushed her to resign she opted to form an organization dubbed National First Aid Society. This was a success unlike what she initially started within Red Cross. It was this society that developed the first aid kit currently used in various locations as homes, schools as well as other businesses. Similarly, it also engaged in actively educating the general public concerning the issue of first aid. In April 12 1912, she peacefully died at 91 and was buried in her place of birth, North Oxford. She is celebrated for various things that continue to shape our lives.

Clara effective characters that made her successful during and after the civil war


Clara was courageous to do the right thing. For example, she was able to risk her reputation to help the soldiers fighting to ensure that the Andersonville death list is published and she even fought to ensure that the name of Dorence Atwater is cleared. She was also very loyal to her friend sand families. She is seen to be so loyal to them given their background. Although she disagreed with her countries' policies, she was very loyal to it.

She tried all she could to ensure that she establish a good reputation. This can be well seen during her wartime and her lecture that portrays her as a national hero. Though she lacked enough administrative skills in the Red Cross and her embellishment, she is seen to feel hurtled by this issue so much.

Through a wish to help the Red Cross, she embellished stories of places she had never visited as she had exploited these oversea places. She did third to ensure that Red Cross was helped and the feminist. Though she says that the end do not justify the means. Clara was trustworthy to a point of not even keeping records in her administration in the Red Cross, yet she never misappropriated the fund as many were thinking.


She was very cooperative with the social people and she always offered escort to the soldiers when she go to the battlefield, camps where soldiers resided and in many other male dominated places. This was possible through the respect that she had in to these people. In fact, she treated people with a lot of respect and she expected the same from them.  a good example that shows that she respected all people without the limit of who they were in her life is when her friends advised her that she should discredit her enemies in her book, she resented  the idea.

She had a lot of respect to those who were victims of the circumstances including the civil war. She never wanted them to feel dejected and feel as if they are beggars or dependent on the charity that was offered through the Red Cross. She ensured that she made them self sufficient as early as possible as she respected human dignity very much. In the Massachusetts Reformatory Prison for Women, she showed the women prisoners a lot of respect that she also received back from them. This was through being humble to them and not showing them that she was superior to them.

Clara dealt very well with insults and the disagreements that she accepted silently although some hurt her deeply.  Otherwise, if she decided to deal with these insults, she would not remember the way she is all over the world. Nevertheless, she never tolerated people who were disloyal and disagreed with her.


Clara was so persevering especially during the civil war time. She also a lot of perseverance during the time she was founding the Red Cross. This is shown by the number of years that she worked until she got her goals. During this time, she would for long hours trying to be as useful as possible in the civil war as she was helping the soldiers.

Through her commitment helping 'her boys' during the time of war, she went to a position of neglecting the work that she had at Patent Office. However, due to her being responsible of her duties, she was able to hire somebody to work on her behalf.

Clara showed a lot of responsibility during the course of her work. This is because she always thought before acting. This was translated even during the time she was under pressure. She never worked in rush under any circumstance. However, as a human being, she sometime came to wrong conclusions due to the persecutions that she was under going. In this position, she realized that she was fond of blaming other people apart from being accountable of her failures and problems.

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Clara was one of the women who were fighting very much to ensure that the women were offered a right to vote if that was to offer African American their long awaited rights in the government and at the country at large. In her quest fro justice, she fought very much in attempt to ensure that Dorence Atwater's name was cleared from the jail where she was imprisoned from publishing the names of those who died in the Andersonville, which were published by the Horace Greeley.

In her social work at the Red Cross, she was vey fair in offering the relief work. She always ensured that she followed neutrality rules that were put in place by the Red Cross. In her social work, despite of challenges such as when an American surgeons rejected her help in the time of Spanish American War, she was had no problem in helping Cuban hospital which was a neighbor instead.

In her such of fairness to the female gender, she involved herself actively in the feminist movement where she eloquently praised Julia Ward Howe, Susan Anthony and other pioneering women.


She was so much disturbed by the images of great suffering that she had seen over the year. This made her to offer the best to ensure that she helped the needy. She ensured that she comforted the dying soldiers and even at their time of death, she was always there for them comforting them. She ensured that the families of the soldiers who were dying knew the cause and the death of their person.  To ensure this was done, she ensured that she recorded the name of the dead soldiers, cause of their death and the location of their burial. She was also the head of the Office of the Correspondence with the Missing Men of the United State. Through being caring and grateful to whom who were good and enabled her achieve her dreams, she was offered the responsibility  at the Massachusetts Reformatory Prison for Women.

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The people who visited praised of her care, as she was very kind and gentle to them. She extended her hand to the visitors in her cottage in the Danville through reciting poems to them and to the community at large. She ensured that she took care of the affairs of the African American women in all the aspects in their life.


The group that was neglected in the north oxford who were mainly millers, she worked hard tom ensure their children got to school. At school, she was an excellent teacher who offered love to her students. This made it possible for her to help everyone in the community where she lived. Her citizenship was portrayed after her brother was healed form a two-year illness where she went back to tutor poor children in her community and helped them in the time of typhoid outbreak.

Through her citizenship and patriotism, she was so caring to the wounded soldiers during the time of the civil war. She desperately seeks the help of the government, army and various organizations to ensure that she met her obligations. It is through these obligations of helping the wounded soldiers that prompted her to ask for permission to offer her services to the wounded on the battlefield. This made her to be closer more to the ones who had problems and decided to form American Red Cross that worked for several years trying to cultivate government relationships until she realized her dream after along time. Through the Red Cross, she was able to work in the whole country to ease suffering and later expanded to Europe.


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