New national exhibit highlights the only female Medal of Honor recipient Dr. Mary Walker

Belle Montgomery

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Oct 25, 2017
Location
44022
New national exhibit highlights the only female Medal of Honor recipient

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For her medical efforts for the Union Army during the Civil War, Dr. Mary Walker was awarded the Medal of Honor. It is the highest award granted to members of the U.S. military. To this day, she remains the only woman to have received the Medal of Honor.


CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Spy, prisoner of war, patriot – at one time or another, all those words described Dr. Mary Walker, a practicing surgeon for the Union Army during the Civil War.
“She was a woman ahead of her time,” said Keith Hardison, director of the Charles H. Coolidge National Medal of Honor Heritage Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Now, though, Dr. Walker’s time has come. She is the focus of a new special exhibit at the center.
“Dr. Walker wanted to go where the fighting was bloodiest,” said exhibit curator Molly Randolph. “She tried multiple times to join up and was denied.”
Yet, she persisted and volunteered her medical skills to Union commanders during the Civil War. They put her to work – for no pay – on the front lines.
That’s when her career as a spy began.
“She used that cover of going into the countryside and providing medical care to do some espionage,” Randolph said.
Eventually, the Confederate Army captured her and held her as a prisoner of war for four months, where she became well-known for wearing her trademark pants.
“She was rather notorious,” Randolph said. “She was ...
Rest of Article: https://www.thedenverchannel.com/ne...ghts-the-only-female-medal-of-honor-recipient

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GwilymT

First Sergeant
Joined
Aug 20, 2018
Location
Pittsburgh
New national exhibit highlights the only female Medal of Honor recipient

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For her medical efforts for the Union Army during the Civil War, Dr. Mary Walker was awarded the Medal of Honor. It is the highest award granted to members of the U.S. military. To this day, she remains the only woman to have received the Medal of Honor.


CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Spy, prisoner of war, patriot – at one time or another, all those words described Dr. Mary Walker, a practicing surgeon for the Union Army during the Civil War.
“She was a woman ahead of her time,” said Keith Hardison, director of the Charles H. Coolidge National Medal of Honor Heritage Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Now, though, Dr. Walker’s time has come. She is the focus of a new special exhibit at the center.
“Dr. Walker wanted to go where the fighting was bloodiest,” said exhibit curator Molly Randolph. “She tried multiple times to join up and was denied.”
Yet, she persisted and volunteered her medical skills to Union commanders during the Civil War. They put her to work – for no pay – on the front lines.
That’s when her career as a spy began.
“She used that cover of going into the countryside and providing medical care to do some espionage,” Randolph said.
Eventually, the Confederate Army captured her and held her as a prisoner of war for four months, where she became well-known for wearing her trademark pants.
“She was rather notorious,” Randolph said. “She was ...
Rest of Article: https://www.thedenverchannel.com/ne...ghts-the-only-female-medal-of-honor-recipient

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Great stuff @Belle Montgomery !!!! Thanks for sharing.
 

BrianB

Private
Joined
May 16, 2014
Here is her citation for her medal:

"Whereas it appears from official reports that Dr. Mary E. Walker, a graduate of medicine, “has rendered valuable service to the Government, and her efforts have been earnest and untiring in a variety of ways,” and that she was assigned to duty and served as an assistant surgeon in charge of female prisoners at Louisville, Ky., upon the recommendation of Major-Generals Sherman and Thomas, and faithfully served as contract surgeon in the service of the United States, and has devoted herself with much patriotic zeal to the sick and wounded soldiers, both in the field and hospitals, to the detriment of her own health, and has also endured hardships as a prisoner of war four months in a Southern prison while acting as contract surgeon; and Whereas by reason of her not being a commissioned officer in the military service, a brevet or honorary rank cannot, under existing laws, be conferred upon her; and
Whereas in the opinion of the President an honorable recognition of her services and sufferings should be made"

So, she was not a soldier and was not awarded the medal for any act of heroism. Her medal of honor was stricken in 1917 because she was not eligible (as a civilian) to receive it and due to any showing of any act of heroism. It was reinstated by President Carter in 1977 as a purely "politically correct" move.
 
So, she was not a soldier and was not awarded the medal for any act of heroism. Her medal of honor was stricken in 1917 because she was not eligible (as a civilian) to receive it and due to any showing of any act of heroism. It was reinstated by President Carter in 1977 as a purely "politically correct" move.
I personally think that volunteering without pay to spy for your country, save wounded soldiers on the front lines and then serve time as a POW in a Confederate prison, is pretty "above and beyond" type heroic to me. YMMV.
 
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