Mary Edwards Walker (November 26, 1832 – February 21, 1919) was an American feminist, abolitionist, prohibitionist, alleged spy, prisoner of war and surgeon. She is the only woman ever to receive the Medal of Honor.
Prior to the American Civil War she earned her medical degree, married and started a medical practice. The practice didn't do well and she volunteered with the Union Army at the outbreak of the American Civil War and served as a female surgeon. She was captured by Confederate forces after crossing enemy lines to treat wounded civilians and arrested as a spy. She was sent as a prisoner of war to Richmond, Virginia until released in a prisoner exchange.
Learn more about Mary Edwards Walker, free from the National Library of Medicine.