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“An 1855 graduate of Syracuse Medical College, Mary Walker was an author and early feminist who gained distinction during the Civil War as a humanitarian, surgeon and spy. Walker was actually appointed surgeon of the 52nd OVI in 1863 by General Thomas in recognition of her skills and was captured in 1864 and ultimately exchanged for a Confederate officer “man for man.” She was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in January 1866.

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Mary E. Walker, M.D.: First woman to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor (Civil War)

Civil War Medal of Honor

Dr. Mary Edwards Walker was the first woman awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, for her work as a surgeon during the Civil War.

Civil War-era Medal of Honor

Mary Edwards Walker - feminist, abolitionist, prohibitionist, spy, prisoner of war and surgeon. The only woman ever to receive the Medal of Honor.

Image detail for -The Civil War as Revolution – Part I

Mary Edwards Walker in her later years, 1911. She received the Medal of Honor for her work as a surgeon during the US Civil War, the only woman to ever get one. In 1917 the Army tightened up the rules for what you had to do/be to get the MoH...and deleted 911 names from the Medal of Honor Roll, including hers. She kept her medal and wore it till her death. Jimmy Carter restored her medal posthumously.

Thank You Mary: Mary Walker, a woman who sought equality for women. She was a surgeon, and she wore pants– when it was illegal to do so. She was proud of her arrest for this; she wanted the right for women to wear pants. She won the congressional medal of Honor when she never even had the right to vote!

DR. MARY EDWARDS WALKER (feminist, abolitionist, alleged spy, surgeon and only female recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor for hardship endured as a prisoner of war)

Mary Edwards Walker (November 26, 1832 – February 21, 1919) was an American feminist, abolitionist, prohibitionist, alleged spy, prisoner of war and surgeon. She is one of only eight civilians, and the only woman ever to receive the Medal of Honor.

Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, Civil War surgeon, POW and Medal of Honor recipient.

Confederate Medal of Honor by peachy92, via Flickr