I understand that more than 3,400 men and one woman have won the
Congressional Medal of Honor. Who was the woman?
On November 11, 1865, Dr.
Mary E. Walker, surgeon for the U.S. Army during the Civil
War, became the sole woman in American history to be awarded the
|Rank and organization:
||Contract Acting Assistant Surgeon (civilian), U.S.
|Places and dates of service:
- Battle of Bull Run, July 21, 1861;
- Patent Office Hospital, Washington, D.C., October
- Chattanooga, Tenn., following Battle of
Chickamauga, September 1863;
- Prisoner of War, April 10, 1864-August 12, 1864,
- Battle of Atlanta, September 1864.
The citation read:
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 soliders, 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.
—The Fact Monster