The founder of the American Red Cross started out as a volunteer nurse in the first days of the civil war. By the end of the war she was in charge of nursing for the entire Army of the James and the Army of the Potomac. After the war she helped notify families of those who had died in Andersonville and helped establish the American Red Cross as a source of general succor for all disasters. She went to Turkey during the Armenian massacres and managed relief there. During her nursing duties she was close enough to the front lines that balls passed through her clothing.