Mary Walker: Civil War Surgeon and Feminist

Mary Walker: Civil War Surgeon and Feminist

by Stephanie Fitzgerald
     
 

Dr. Mary Walker served as a surgeon with the Union Army during the American Civil War. She spied on Confederate troops and spent four months as a prisoner of war. In 1865, she was awarded the Medal of Honor, the highest military award given by the U.S. government, for her medical treatment of Union troops. Walker was also a prominent feminist. She led a movement to

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Overview

Dr. Mary Walker served as a surgeon with the Union Army during the American Civil War. She spied on Confederate troops and spent four months as a prisoner of war. In 1865, she was awarded the Medal of Honor, the highest military award given by the U.S. government, for her medical treatment of Union troops. Walker was also a prominent feminist. She led a movement to end the social restrictions on women's dress and campaigned to give women the right to vote. Walker also wrote several books on the role of women in society.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Janis Flint-Ferguson
The "Signature Lives" series presents terrific historical biographies that give a detailed picture of the people whose lives are "special lives in history." Mary Walker is a little-known medical woman, one with both exceptional courage and oddity who dedicated her life in the service of others. Although trained as a surgeon and volunteering behind Union lines, Dr. Walker never received military or economic accommodations for her contributions. She was the daughter of a New York farmer with unusual ideas about the care and education of young girls. He believed that girls should not be dressed in the corsets of the day, that they needed to pull their own weight in terms of farm chores, and that they should be well educated. Shortly after her 21st birthday, Walker enrolled in the Syracuse Medical College, where she excelled. She never dressed as a 19th-century woman, preferring "bloomers" and later pants, and she did not shy away from volunteering for medical duty in the Civil War. Dr. Walker even spent time in a prisoner of war camp. For her endless work, she was awarded a Congressional Medal of Honor, but never did receive the military commission she sought. Although she fought for women's right to vote, her eccentric dress and habits were not endorsed by the suffragist movement. Included with her story and pictures of her life is a timeline that aligns her life with the historical events of the country at the same time, making this an excellent resource for middle and high school libraries. Reviewer: Janis Flint-Ferguson

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780756540838
Publisher:
Capstone Press
Publication date:
01/01/2009
Pages:
24
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.60(d)
Lexile:
1050L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Stephanie Fitzgerald has been writing nonfiction for children for more than 10 years. Her specialties include history, wildlife, and popular culture. Stephanie is currently working on a picture book with the help of her daughter, Molly.

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