Why It Matters
Mary Edwards Walker was well-known for receiving a Medal of Honor in the Civil War, and for her unusual style of dress; she was an advocate of women’s dress reform, and preferred pants to dresses. While many admired her service as a surgeon in the Civil War, Walker's strong personality and sometimes impolite manner made people impatient with her and hesitant to support her reformist ideas. Although many people thought her odd, she often treated people free of charge and inspired other women to work in the medical field. In this letter, Elizabeth Stack recalls the less notorious, generous side of Walker.