ContributorsPublishersAdvertisers

Mary Edwards Walker

WAR HISTORY ONLINE

Mary Edwards Walker: The Only Woman to Receive the Medal of Honor

Today, about a third of all American doctors are female, and women make up 14 percent of all active-duty US military members. This represents a drastic change from Mary Edwards Walker’s day. Walker, born in 1832, became the first female surgeon to serve in the US Army. She was a hero, too, earning the Medal of Honor.
Picture for Mary Edwards Walker: The Only Woman to Receive the Medal of Honor

1865: Mary Edwards Walker

Mary Edwards Walker became the first woman surgeon for the Union Army during the Civil War. She was captured in 1864 by Confederates and was held as a prisoner of war for four months. Upon her return, President Andrew Johnson awarded Walker with the Medal of Honor in 1865—the military’s highest distinction. To this day, Walker is the only woman to have ever received this medal.
Picture for 1865: Mary Edwards Walker