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Civil War Medicine

Clara Barton Activity Post-War

A PHILANTHROPIC WORK. -- Miss Clara Barton of Worcester, Mass., has interested herself much in attempts to ascertain if Union prisoners in rebel hands were alive, and if so where they were; and if dead, all the particulars that could be gained relative to place of death, disease, where burried, etc. She has thus been enabled to comfort many who had thought their friends deads, and to relieve the suspense of very many more. Of late she has conceived the idea of enclosing the cemetery at Andersonville, and erecting plainly-marked head-boards at the graves of all whose resting place can be identified. She made know her plan to the secretary of war, and he not only approved of it but commissioned Miss Barton to execut the work. Miss Barton started last week with seventeen thousand head-boards, accompanied by Capt. Moore, quartermaster, and by Dorence Atwater, a soldier formerly confined at Andersonville, who made the plans and copied the roll by stealth. The expedition will consume four or six weeks, during which time Miss Barton will probably visit other localities of similar melancholy interest.

This is no summer recreation that Miss Barton has undertaken. She is well aware that death lies hiddern in those malarious swamps and putrefying graves, and that is is extreemly hazardous for Northern people to attempt the journey at this season. But the work cannot be deferred; every rain washes away some land-mark or name; and if the last resting places of those thousands who have yielded up their lives to the barbarity of a Southern "chivalry" are ever to be known by friends the work must be done now. The prayers of the widows and fatherless go with her. (The (St. Johnsbury) Caledonian, July 28, 1865, page 2, column 1)

A letter has been received in Boston from Miss Clara Barton, who accompanied the party sent to Andersonville to select a site for a national cemetery and to properly inter the bodies of our soldiers who died there. Miss Barton says: "The grounds for the cemetery had been selected, and the work of interment is going on. Two hundred and seventy-six bodies of soldiers who were murdered for stepping beyond the dead line in search of food and water were disinterred in one day. They were buried on the spot where they fell." (Rutland Weekly Herald, August 3, 1865, page 8, column 2)

Lists of Soldiers and Others, compiled by Clara Barton from requests by relatives or friends seeking information:

Vermont Watchman and State Journal, June 30, 1865

Rutland Wekly Herald, June 14, 1866

Lamoille Newsdealer, January 16, 1867