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Mary Edwards Walker

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  • United States
  • English

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Mary Edwards Walker (1832-1919) defied the conventions of her era. Born and raised on a farm in Oswego, New York, Walker became one of a handful of female physicians in the nation-and became a passionate believer in the rights of women. She campaigned for women’s suffrage and against traditional male-dominated marriage vows, and any issue involving the sublimation of her sex. From the outset of the Civil War, Walker volunteered her services as a physician. Despite almost universal opposition from army commanders and field surgeons, Walker served in the many bloody theaters of the war. She was captured by Confederates near Chattanooga in 1864, she served four months in a Southern prison hell-hole where she tended the prisoners of war. In 1865 she became the only woman in American history to receive the nation’s highest award for military valor, the Medal of Honor.
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