Humanitarian and relief organizer Clara Barton was overwhelmingly voted Person of the Year at this past weekend’s symposium at the Library of Virginia in Richmond.
The audience made its selection at the final such program during the Civil War sesquicentennial.
Biographer Elizabeth Brown Pryor made the case for Barton, saying she set about creating a system for identifying killed and missing soldiers, the results must evident at Andersonville. Barton campaigned for black suffrage, better treatment of prisoners and devised the first aid kit, Pryor said.
Barton earned the title “Angel of the Battlefield” because of her efforts to assist wounded Union soldiers during the Civil War. She later became the founder and first president of the American Red Cross.
Other nominees were Jefferson Davis, the Freedmen, Robert E. Lee and Abraham Lincoln.
The Museum of the Confederacy and the American Civil War Museum are co-sponsors of the event.
Past Person of the Year selections are Abraham Lincoln (1861), Robert E. Lee (1862), and Ulysses S. Grant (1863) and William T. Sherman (1864).