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Education, Battlefield and Blood Mobile – Truly Historic Blog

Chris Hauff Jan 04, 2021

Miss Clark’s Truly Historic Blog | January 2021

There are so many wonderfully unique stories of people throughout history who took what one may consider a defeat and turn it into a way to help others. Clara Barton was one such person. She lived when most women did not work outside the home, but that was not to be for her. Barton saw a need and started a school for millworkers’ kids in Massachusetts. The school was extremely successful, and Clara felt her mission was complete and wanted to move on to a new project that could improve the world. 

Clara Barton was an educator and humanitarian who helped distribute needed supplies to the Union Army during the Civil War and later founded the disaster relief organization the American Red Cross.

At the age of thirty-nine, which was somewhat old in those days, Clara began a new journey to help others. You see, as a young child, her dad had told her many sad war stories, and she could not bear the thought of any soldier dying alone on the battlefield. Clara felt that was an area where she could make a difference. So, she gathered some of her friends who also wanted to provide care for wounded soldiers and went to work. 

Barton and her friends risked their lives to get supplies out onto the battlefields and help wounded and often dying soldiers. There truly was nothing that could be done many times except to hold a wounded warrior’s hand as he passed away. One of her more difficult projects was working with the Missing Soldiers Office. Clara and the department were able to assist the families of some 22,000 fallen soldiers locate the remains of their loved ones; 13,000 of those men were found in one place – Anderson Prison. Anderson Prison is a sad place because you see graves of so many people and read about how short many of their lives were. 

After the war, Clara was exhausted, and her doctor recommended rest. Publicly she agreed, but secretly she had another plan to help others. Barton and some of the others who helped during the Civil War went to Europe. Clara and her friends knew about the International Red Cross in Europe and felt a need for such an organization in the United States. Upon returning to the states, she began a campaign to create an American Red Cross, which was eventually ratified by the U.S. in 1882.  

Fast forward nearly 150 years, and this is where YOU, the reader, come into the picture! Did you know that January is National Blood Donor Month? The month was chosen due to the need for blood and blood products following the holiday season and winter arrival. This year with many being ill, the need for supplies is critical.  

Our museum hosted the Red Cross Blood Mobile in December during Mount Pleasant’s Operation Covid Christmas Drive Through. Thank you to all who were able to give. There are very few things one can do to save up to three lives and cost so little. Donations are used for patients of all ages and so many reasons. From cancer patients to those recovering on the battlefields, so many people depend on blood donors.  

The Red Cross is there during natural disasters, fires, storms, and wherever they can help. Often we think of them as only collecting blood, but they contribute so much more to our communities and countries worldwide. So, will you be a BLOOD DONOR this month?

Getting To Know Miss Clark:

My name is Cindy Clark, but most of my life as a teacher I’ve been known as Miss Clark. For more than 24 years, I was blessed to teach in a traditional classroom full of students who often taught me more than I taught them. Then, I left the classroom and boarded a truly historic ship – the USS Yorktown. I spent more than 10 years educating students from across the country about history, honor, and patriotism as part of the Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum’s education department.  As of August 14, 2020, I officially retired, and looking back, I feel so blessed to have had an impact on so many young lives!

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