Think of Female Wartime Participants This Memorial Day


Mary Walker, Civil War Surgeon. Courtesy of the Library of Congress

This Memorial Day, take time to remember the actions some of the women in your family.  Mary Walker was the only woman in her class at the Syracuse Medical School. She graduated in 1855 and married another physician in 1856. She was a woman ahead of her times. Mary kept her maiden name after marriage and usually wore this utilitarian outfit of pants with a short dress.  This style of reform dress was considered healthier for women, but it must have been useful when tending soldiers injured in battle.  When Mary tried to enlist for the Civil War, she was rejected.  She volunteered instead serving as a surgeon.  Mary Walker earned the Congressional Medal of Honor for that service.

 

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