Download Clara Barton. In the Service of Humanity by David H Burton PDF

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By David H Burton

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Sample text

I know soldiers and they will always respect you and your errand," he told her as he lay dying. "12 The grip her father always had 32 Clara Barton on Clara tightened as his body grew cold in death. He had given her a mandate. The challenge was to measure up to her fathers word. She required nothing more to harden her resolve than to know that she was fulfilling his expectations of her. The obstacles facing Barton, were she to meet and overcome the challenge, were considerable. Women simply did not go into the field.

In the officers' mess the tables were laid with silver and linen, and the food some of the best Clara had ever tasted. With little else to do, as the siege wore on, Clara took to riding horseback daily. She also had plenty of time to read and write letters and, alas, to brood over her inactivity. After all, "up North," some of the great battles of the whole war were being fought, including Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, and Clara Barton was to have no part in them. Two personal considerations kept Clara at Hilton Head whatever her qualms of conscience.

She continued her ministry seemingly oblivious to the approaching danger, not wanting any man to go untended. At last Barton realized that she could delay no longer lest she fall into the hands of the enemy. At the last minute she jumped aboard the only train left as it pulled out of the station headed for Washington. Looking backward she sighted Confederate cavalry and the station in flames. This was indeed the stuff of legends yet unborn. Meanwhile there were the wounded to look after as the hospital train lumbered its way slowly to the capital.

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