“No young lady, when she is being courted…for a moment supposes that her lover can…ever wish her to be his slave.””


Mary Edwards Walker (1832-1919)
Mary Edwards was the first woman to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, and the second woman to graduate from medical school in the US. A supporter of women’s equality, she wore trousers, and a man’s coat to her wedding, and kept her own last name. At the outbreak of the Civil War she went to join the Army as a medical officer, but was declined so she volunteered. At one point she was held hostage by the Confederates. In 1865, she received the Congressional Medal of Honor for her service and sacrifice in the War. In 1917, however, it was taken away from her, but she refused to return it, and wore it to her death. In 1977, her medal was reinstated; making her, to this day, the only woman – ever- to receive the honor.