Pieces of the Past:
Clara Barton—Angel of the Battlefield
by PATRICIA L. CUMMINGS

History remembers Clarissa Harlowe Barton not only as the founder of the American Red Cross, but also as a dedicated nurse who ministered to soldiers on the front lines of battle during the American Civil War. Clarissa Barton (better known as Clara) was born in North Oxford, Massachusetts, in 1821. Highly influenced by her patriot father, Stephen Barton, Sr., who served as an army captain in the Indian Wars of the West, Clara would sit transfixed as he recounted tales of the soldiers who had fought valiantly under his command. Captain Barton described his daughter as "more boy than girl" and was proud to see Clara become a good equestrian and sharpshooter. Only five feet tall, the brown-eyed beauty possessed physical agility and stamina, as well as the type of indomitable determination that eventually made her a leader.

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