Rose O'Neal Greenhow

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Rose O'Neal Greenhow

Rose O'Neal Greenhow was born in Montgomery County, Maryland in 1817. "Wild Rose", as she was called from a young age, was a leader in Washington society, a passionate secessionist, and one of the most renowned spies in the Civil War. Among her accomplishments was the ten-word secret message she sent to General Pierre G.T. Beauregard which ultimately caused him to win the battle Bull Run. She spied so successfully for the Confederacy that Jefferson Davis credited her with winning the battle of Manassas.

Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman was a runaway slave from Maryland who became known as the "Moses of her people." Over the course of 10 years, and at great personal risk, she led hundreds of slaves to freedom along the Underground Railroad, a secret network of safe houses where runaway slaves could stay on their journey north to freedom. She later became a leader in the abolitionist movement, and during the Civil War she was a spy with for the federal forces in South Carolina as well as a nurse.

Lucretia Coffin Mott

Political and social reformer Lucretia Coffin Mott was born on January 3 , 1793 in Nantucket, Massachusetts . Inspired by a father who encouraged his daughters to be useful and by a mother who was active in business affairs, Lucretia Mott agitated for the oppressed while raising six children. Over the course of her lifetime, Mott actively participated in many of the reform movements of the day including abolition , temperance , and pacifism. Most importantly, however, she inaugurated the woman suffrage movement .

Mott's commitment to women's equality was strengthened by her experience as a student and teacher in Poughkeepsie , New York. While at a Quaker boarding school there, she was struck by the fact that "the charge for the education of girls was the same as that for boys, and that when they became teachers, women received but half as much as men for their services…The injustice of this was so apparent," Mott recalled in an autobiographical sketch, "that I early resolved to claim for my sex all that an impartial Creator had bestowed."
Clara Barton

Clara Barton's civil war work began in April 1861. After the Battle of Bull Run, she established an agency to obtain and distribute supplies to wounded soldiers. In July 1862, she obtained permission to travel behind the lines, eventually reaching some of the grimmest battlefields of the war and serving during the sieges of Petersburg and Richmond. Barton delivered aid to soldiers of both the North and South.

In 1864, she was named superintendent of nursing for the Union Army, but Clara helped care for the wounded from both sides. She even visited Confederate field hospitals and provided them with supplies and assistance. One newspaper called her, "The true heroine of the age, the angel of the battlefield" and the latter part of that phrase was used to describe her for the rest of her life.

After the war, she became a popular and widely respected lecturer. In 1881 she established the American Red Cross, and served as its director until her death.

Loreta Velazquez

Loreta Velazquez published her memoirs in 1876. According to The Woman in Battle, a book published by Loreta Velazquez in 1876 and the main source for her story, her father was the owner of plantations in Mexico and Cuba and a Spanish government official, and her mother's parents were a French naval officer and the daughter of a wealthy American family.
Loreta Velazquez claimed four marriages (though never took any of her husbands' names). Her second husband enlisted in the Confederate army at her urging, and, when he left for duty, she raised a regiment for him to command. He died in an accident, and the widow then enlisted -- in disguise -- and served at Manassas/Bull Run, Ball's Bluff, Fort Donelson and Shiloh under the name Lieutenant Harry T. Buford.
Loreta Velazquez also claims to have served as a spy, often dressed as a woman, working as a double agent for the Confederacy in the service of the U.S. Secret Service.

Sarah Emma Edmonds

Sarah Emma Edmonds (1841-1898) (born Edmonson or Edmondson) enlisted in a Michigan volunteer infantry company as Franklin Thompson, successfully evading detection as a woman for a year. She participated in the Battle of Blackburn's Ford, First Bull Run / Manassas, the Peninsular Campaign, Antietam, and Fredericksburg. Sarah Edmonds sometimes served as a spy, "disguised" as a woman (Bridget O'Shea) or as a black man.

After deserting, she worked as Sarah Edmonds as a nurse for the U.S. Christian Commission. Edmonds published her version of her service -- with many embellishments -- in 1865 as Nurse and Spy in the Union Army. In 1882 she began to petition for a pension as a veteran, and was granted one in 1884 under her new married name, Sarah E. E. Seelye. She had three children.
Dr. Mary E. Walker

Dr. Mary E. Walker, M.D., a Civil War physician, was awarded the Congressional** Medal of Honor in 1865. Dr. Walker's Medal of Honor was rescinded in 1917, along with some 900 others. Some believed her medal was rescinded because of her involvement as a suffragette. Others discredit that opinion as 909 other medals rescinded were awarded to men. The stated reason was to ". . . increase the prestige of the grant."

For whatever reason she refused to return the Medal of Honor and wore it until her death in 1919. Fifty-eight years later, the U.S. Congress posthumously reinstated her medal, and it was restored by President Carter on June 10, 1977.
She is the only woman of the Civil War, or any war, to have been awarded the Medal of Honor.

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