HistoryWired About the Program Help Comments Smithsonian Institution
Back to Map

Enlarge
Audio

"Battle Hymn of the Republic"
From Ballads of the Civil War 1831-1865
© Smithsonian Folkways Recordings

Dr. Mary Walker's Pocket Bible
1864

Spiritual warfare
A crusader for women's equality, Dr. Mary Edwards Walker served as a surgeon for the Union army during the Civil War and was captured by the Confederates. She received this pocket Bible while in prison in Richmond, VA. A year after the war, Walker became the only woman ever to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor. However, the medal was revoked in 1917 when Congress revised its standards to include only "actual combat with an enemy." Six decades later, the women's movement sparked new interest in Walker's story. In 1974, Smithsonian curators collected this Bible and other objects from Walker's grandniece and supported a campaign to have her Medal of Honor restored. In 1977, Congress reinstated the award.

Notes
Mary Edwards Walker, born November 26, 1832, near Oswego, NY; died February 21, 1919, Oswego, NY
Web display only

Learn more!
· Civil War and Reconstruction (1850-1877)
· Abolition
· "Battle Hymn of the Republic"

What do you think?
Would you like to see more objects like this on the site? Tell others by casting your vote.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Fewer More


Start HistoryWired | About the Program | Help | Comments

Smithsonian Institution | Terms of Use | Privacy