FORT SUMTER had been fired upon; and in response
to Lincoln's call for troops, Massachusetts had sent a
regiment to Washington. As the soldiers were passing
through Baltimore they were attacked by a mob. Some
were killed, and forty were wounded.
Among the anxious crowd waiting about the Washington
station for the arrival of the wounded men was Miss
Clara Barton. Her heart was
full of sympathy when she saw
the suffering soldiers. She followed to where they were
carried, and gave up her time to
nursing them. Hard as the
work was, she liked it. And
seeing how much she could do
to help and comfort the sick
soldiers, she nobly offered her
services for as long as they
might be needed.
The women of the North
responded to Lincoln's call as
promptly as the men. While the troops were gathering
to defend the Union, the Northern women were rolling
bandages, making delicacies, and collecting comforts to
be sent to the front—a work which they kept up
throughout the war.
 That all these supplies might be handled wisely, the
United States appointed the Sanitary Commission. With
the money and necessities sent from the different Northern
States and, above all, with the help of such women as
Mary Livermore, Dorothy Dix, and Clara Barton, this
Sanitary Commission did a wonderful work. Many a
soldier, wounded in the battles of the West, was carried
north on the Mississippi ambulance boat. Still others—and
these in thousands—were cared for by nurses on the
battlefield or in the camp hospital.
When the war was over, and Miss Barton was no longer
needed to attend the country's injured soldiers, she went
abroad. She was worn out and needed rest. In the
course of her travels she learned that the chief nations of
Europe had organized the Red Cross Society, and had
pledged themselves to uphold it. The object of this
society was to care for all sick or wounded soldiers needing
help, whether friend or foe. It had adopted a flag—a
red cross on a white ground—the reverse of the flag of
Switzerland, where the society had been organized; and
it was agreed that even on the battlefield this flag should
be respected by both sides alike.
What possibilities lay before such a society! Miss
Barton, after her Civil War experience, easily saw what
it could do; so she became a member of the Red Cross, and
served under its flag on European battlefields.
THE WORK OF THE RED CROSS IN THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR.
When at last she returned to America, it was with the
determination to induce her country to sign the
international agreement regarding the Red Cross Society. At
this time the United States was at peace, and it was hard to
interest people in a society to care for injured soldiers.
But after five years of constant effort on Miss Barton's
part, the Association of the American Red Cross was
formed, with Clara Barton as its president. Not only did
 the American Red Cross Society pledge itself to the care
of wounded soldiers in the time of war; it also agreed to
render relief to the victims of any great national calamity.
Great calamities have, in one year and another,
befallen the American nation since; and time and again the
Red Cross Society has worked to relieve the results of flood,
fire, or pestilence. In May, 1889, the breaking of a dam
in western Pennsylvania was followed by a flood which
nearly swept Johnstown out of existence. Houses were
carried away, thousands of people were killed, and those
who survived were homeless and without food. To this
scene of desolation Miss Barton and her fellow Red Cross
members went. And for five months they stayed,
sometimes in tents, sometimes shelterless, distributing the
money, food, and other supplies sent to the afflicted city.
 Nor was this all. Six "Red Cross Hotels" were put
up as quickly as possible, and here the homeless people
were sheltered and fed. Three thousand houses were
built by a general committee, and the Red Cross Society
supplied each and every one of them with furniture and
made them ready for use. When she went home, Miss
Barton left behind her the beginnings of a new and grateful
Nine years later came our war with Spain. Spain
owned several of the West Indian Islands, Cuba among
them; and the cruel treatment of the Spanish Government
had driven Cuba to revolt. For a while America watched
the unequal struggle, and then our country ordered Spain
to give the Cubans their freedom. She refused, and
American soldiers and sailors were sent to win for the
Qubans what they could not win for themselves.
Even before our country took a hand in Cuba's war,
Clara Barton had visited the island and tried to relieve
the terrible misery and starvation caused by Spanish
brutality. Then, during the war, while the Red Cross
flag waved over the army hospitals, the plucky nurses
fed and nursed the wounded soldiers, helped the surgeons
at their work, and comforted the dying.
Thirty-seven years lay between the opening of our
Civil War and our war with Spain. These thirty-seven
years had changed Miss Barton from a young woman to a
woman of nearly seventy. Yet she served as energetically,
as loyally and unselfishly in Cuba as she had served the
boys in blue and gray so many years before.
Through her efforts the Red Cross Society is now
firmly planted in America, its members always ready to
share the hardships and lessen the sufferings of the victims
of future disasters. In years to come, as in years gone by,
Americans will richly bless the name of Clara Barton.