In States Army, 2018). Although she was not

In 2011, a study conducted by Cable News Network reported that the number of women who were active-duty in the United States military estimated to be roughly 200,000. Within this number, the Army ranked first with the most amount of women at 74,000. Further analysis depicted that 30.5% of military women held ranks specializing in the medical field (CNN Staff). These facts, however, are nothing new.  In fact, active military women leaders in the medical field dates as far back as the American Revolutionary War.  During that time they served as nurses, cooks, seamstresses and some even went as far as volunteering to be undercover spies.  Indubitably, although not in uniform, women have had a profound influence on the United States medical military history. When the Civil War broke out in 1861, women assumed important yet uncommon roles such as alerting troops and fighting on the battlefield (ARMY, 2018).  Among the many was Mary Edwards Walker, who at that time was 29 years old.  She originally applied to be an Army surgeon, however was denied due to her gender (Association of the United States Army, 2018). Although she was not given the role she desired, her perseverance and determination made her to be the only woman in the United States history to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor on November 11, 1865 (Williams, 2016).  Besides her experience in the medical field, she was also a public speaker and a powerful activist of women rights. Doctor (Dr.) Mary Edwards Walker was born on November 26, 1832 in Oswego County, New York as the youngest of seven children.  She grew up on a family farm with non-traditional gender roles thus she did not wear women clothing.  As an energetic and curious person, she was always interested in the anatomy and physiology of the human body.  Dr. Walker did not have a wealthy upbringing and therefore worked hard to achieve her goals. As she aged, she taught at a local school in Minetto, New York.  She later went on to attend Syracuse Medical College and pay her way through.  In 1855, Dr. Walker was the only female to have graduated in her class.  Dr. Walker was then awarded her Doctorate in Medicine.  ” She became one of the few women physicians in the country” (Association of the United States Army, 2018).  Dr. Walker set up a joint medical practice in New york, but was not generally trusted or respected because of gender at the time.Years later, Dr. Walker’s inclination finally founds its’ calling during the outbreak of the American Civil War.In 1861, Dr. Walker joined the Union’s force in support of the American Civil War.  Dr. Walker was denied the position to be an Army surgeon.  She was not discouraged from the decision and volunteered as an unpaid nurse at various camps.  Dr. Walker was assigned to the military hospital house in Virginia were she also develop the Women’s Relief Organization. This organization was created to help wives and mothers to further aid wounded warriors from battle.  With the continuous persistence of reclaiming her surgeon position, Dr. Walker was finally granted the position as an field surgeon in 1862.  Although Dr. Walker is considered a field surgeon, she was still an unpaid volunteer. In September of 1862, Dr. Walker requested from the War Department to be employed as a spy. The War Department declined her request.  Later on the year, Dr. Walker requested to commision as Army doctor. In 1863, Dr. Walker was finally appoint as assistant surgeon in the Army, but still a civilian.  Dr. Walker’s position was the Contract Acting Assistant Surgeon for the Union Army (civilian).  She was assigned to 52nd Ohio Regiment (Association of the United States Army, 2018).  As a part of this regiment, Dr. Walker would frequently cross enemy lines to treat wounded or ill patients.  In 1864, Dr. Walker was captured by the Confederate Army while on enemy land.  The Confederate charged her the crime of being a spy and then arrested her.  Dr. Walker became a Prisoner of War (POW).  Dr. Walker was a part of a prisoner exchange after four months of her being captured.  “She was exchange for a Confederate surgeon in August 1864” (Association of the United States Army, 2018).  Upon Dr. Walker’s return, she was sent to Louisville, Kentucky as a medical director for the hospital by the War Department.  The hospital was a facility to treat women prisoners.  Dr. Walker was never again sent to the battlefield.  In 1865, Dr. Walker finally left the government service as the American Civil War ended.  For Dr. Walker’s service and support during the American Civil War, she was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor by President Andrew Johnson.   Although Dr. Walker has a passion for the practice of medicine, she left that field of practice and became an author and lecturer.  Dr. Walker became an active women’s rights movement person in support of women’s suffrage act.  In 1870, Dr. Walker published  Hit: Essays on Women’s Rights (Williams, 2016) in support of the women’s suffrage act.  Later in the years, Dr. Walker publish another book Crown of Constitutional Argument in 1907. This book argues the equal rights for women to vote. +2In 1916, the Army revised the Medal of Honor recipients and revoked prior awardees.   Dr. Walker was one of the awardees that was revoked the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1917.  Her status during the American Civil War was a civilian employee, which it determined her as unwarranted.  Dr. Walker was not alone in this process.  There were 910 other awardees that had their awards revoked too.  +2Dr. Walker died at the age of eighty six, 21 February 1919 (Association of the United States Army, 2018).  A year after the death of Dr. Walker, women were finally guaranteed the right to vote all over the nation.  Sixty years after Dr. Walker’s death , the Army Board for Correction of Military Records decided to review her case.  “On 19 June 1977, Army Secretary Clifford L. Alexander approved the recommendation by the board to restore the Medal of Honor to Dr. Mary E. Walker” (Association of the United States Army, 2018). As of today, Dr Walker still remains the only female to have earned the Congressional Medal of Honor.   +3ReferencesCNN Staff. (2013, January 24). By the numbers: Women in the U.S. military. Retrieved from of the United States Army. (2018). Dr. Mary E. Walker. Retrieved from (2018) Women in The Army. Retrieved from, Glenn. (2016, February 21). Dr. Mary Edwards Walker. Retrieved from, Erin. (2016, March 1). How a Woman Won the Medal of Honor 150 Years Before she Could Serve in Combat. Retrieved from .

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