To Clara Barton (click on song title to hear MP3 music clip)
© Jennie Avila
". . . And if you chance to feel that the positions I occupied were rough and unseemly for a woman, I can only reply that they were rough and unseemly for men."
The book entitled, "The Life of Clara Barton" by Epler, Chapter XI Harpers Ferry and South Mountain, provided near direct quotes for the bridge of the song and many ideas for the verses:
"I have already spoken of the great length of the army train (ten miles long) and that we could no more change our position (in the rear) than one of the planets...And for the benefit of those who may not understand, I may say that the order of the train was first, ammunition, next food and clothing for well troops, and finally the hospital supplies. Thus in the case of the battle... the needed stores for the army must be two to three days in coming up. Meanwhile as usual our men must languish and die. Something must be done to gain time. I resorted to strategy. We found an early resting place, supped by our campfire and slept again among the dews and damps. At one o'clock when everything was still, we arose... and moved on past the whole train, which like ourselves, had camped for the night. At daylight we had gained ten miles and were up with the artillery... All that weary dusty day I followed the cannon, and nightfall brought us up with the great army of the Potomac, 80,000 men... In all this vast assemblage I saw no other trace of woman kind. I was faint but I could not eat; weary but could not sleep; depressed but could not weep... and prayed God with all the earnestness of my soul to stay the morrow's strife..."
Clara Barton and the Red Cross:
Photos of Clara Barton: