Discovering Clara Barton’s Missing Soldiers Office
September 14, 2019 || 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
In the aftermath of the Civil War, relief organizer and volunteer nurse Clara Barton opened the Missing SoldiersOffice to search for missing Union soldiers. From her boardinghouse in Washington, she launched an operation that scoured the nation for information about soldiers who had disappeared during the conflict. In three years, Barton and her team discovered the fate of more than 22,000 missing men. Yet, her work with the Missing Soldiers Office has largely been overshadowed by Barton’s role with the American Red Cross. The boardinghouse in Washington fell into disrepair and by the 1990s, was likely to be torn down. In 1996, a government employee named Richard Lyons made a surprising discovery and uncovered the story of Barton’s Missing Soldiers Office and preserved the historic structure to be developed into a museum that is now operated by the National Museum of Civil War Medicine.
Jake Wynn is the Director of Interpretation at the Clara Barton Missing Soldiers Office Museum and the National Museum of Civil War Medicine.
He is a 2015 graduate of Hood College in Frederick, MD where he focused on public history and communications. Previously, Wynn has worked with the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area, the Tourism Council of Frederick County (MD), and Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.
He writes independently on the history of Pennsylvania’s Anthracite Coal Region on his blog, Wynning History.