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By David H Burton

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Included in these actions were the Seven Days battle, Cedar Mountain, and second Bull Run. Phase two, climaxed by the nearly decisive battle of Antietam, occurred in mid-September. These military engagements involved large armies, resulting in heavy casualties both killed and wounded. It was furthermore a period of great tension in the North, a time when a Union victory appeared least likely. The cost of the fighting was becoming increasingly exorbitant in the minds of many. Supplies of arms and ammunition not to mention stocks of medicine and hospital requirements were being drawn down rapidly.

Perfect rest, expressing her discontent in such a way as to suggest suicide as an answer to her plight. In July, 1860, writing to Sally's other son, Bernard, who had joined his uncle in North Carolina, Clara uttered a cri de coeur: "when the command should come, Lay down thy burden and rest, it must be the sweetest hour of my whole existence . . "18 In this state of mind she was fortunate to be able to turn to old friends, including Fowler and the Bertram family with whom she had first stayed in Clinton.

Writing to her cousin Lizzie Shaver, in a letter dated September 4, she gave graphic descriptions of what ^he was able to accomplish amid the groans of despair that filled the late summer air. "The men lay so thick we could not take one step in the dark. . we had two water buckets and five dippers... hard crackers . . my one sauce pan for making coffee. All night long we made compresses and slings and bound up and wet wounds when we could get water. . " 20 Amazing as it may seem Clara was rarely too tired to put down her feelings and her observations in her journal or letters.

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Clara Barton. In the Service of Humanity by David H Burton


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