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Star lover
November 13th, 2017, 08:34 AM
The first and, to date, only woman awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor was Dr. Mary E. Walker, for her medical service at the Battle of Bull Run during the American Civil War.
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A trained surgeon, she served as a civilian nurse/surgeon's assistant, initially without pay, because the Union Army did not permit women to be military surgeons.

She also tended wounded soldiers after the Battle of Chickamauga and the Battle of Atlanta and, despite her civilian status, spent four months as a prisoner of war.

Mary was raised by unconventional (for the time) parents and encouraged to pursue her interests. She felt the dresses of the era contributed to women's health issues of the day. She generally wore a short dress with pants underneath. Follow her time as a prisoner of war, she was unable to practice medicine. Her muscles were affected and she had limited use of her arms. She received $8.50 disability pension a month in 1865, which in taised to $20 a month in 1899.

She became a writer and lecturer, supporting such issues as health care, temperance, women's rights, and dress reform for women.

She was married briefly to a fellow college medical student. They shared a joint practice. Mary's, however didn't flourish, as most didn't trust a woman doctor. Mary never took her husband's name and they divorced after he was unfaithful. They never had children. Mary died in 1919.

Vonnie
November 13th, 2017, 09:40 AM
Still, that was quite the accomplishment in those days!

KPH
November 13th, 2017, 09:46 AM
She was an amazing woman. It kind of makes you wonder about her parents, they we're really living on the edge letting a girl go to medical school to follow her dreams.

Star lover
November 13th, 2017, 10:06 AM
Mary was the youngest of 7 children. 5 sisters, 1 brother. The girls learned to work heavy labor and the boy learned house work. They all shared the work.....unique in that day and age.

grammaterry
November 13th, 2017, 11:16 AM
Did you find info about why she thought dresses contributed to health problems?

Star lover
November 13th, 2017, 12:06 PM
Terry....this is what I found out....

Walker was infamous for contesting traditional female wardrobe. In 1871, she wrote, "The greatest sorrows from which women suffer to-day are those physical, moral, and mental ones, that are caused by their unhygienic manner of dressing!" She strongly opposed women's long skirts with numerous petticoats, not only for their discomfort and their inhibition to the wearer's mobility, but for their collection and spread of dust and dirt.

lovemyavy
November 13th, 2017, 01:06 PM
This is quite interesting. Thanks for sharing! You always find such unique topics.