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Dr. Mary
Edwards Walker

Civilian Contract Surgeon
U.S. Army
Medal Of Honor, Civil War

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Prior to the first Battle of Bull Run in Virginia on July 21, 1861, only five soldiers and one sailor had earned Medals of Honor. In the Bull Run battle alone, eleven soldiers and Civilian Contract Surgeon Mary Walker earned Medals of Honor. Dr. Walker was cited for her service in not only this battle but also in the Hospital in Washington, DC, as well as continued service in Tennessee (September 1863), Richmond, Virginia, and the Battle of Atlanta (September 1864). She was a prisoner of war of the Confederate Forces from April 10 - August 12, 1864. Her citation notes: "(Dr. Walker) has rendered valuable service to the Government, and her efforts have been earnest and untiring in a variety of ways. She was assigned to duty and served as an assistant surgeon in charge of female prisoners at Louisville, Kentucky, upon the recommendation of Major Generals Sherman and Thomas, and faithfully served as contract surgeon in the service of the United States. She 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"

Mary Walker was the first and Only woman to receive the Medal of Honor. She is one of eight civilians to receive the award.

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