U.S. Capitol Visitor Center

Welcome to the U.S. Capitol

Searching for the Missing

While providing medical assistance on Civil War battlefields, Clara Barton received many poignant pleas for information about missing soldiers. She requested permission of the government to conduct a search, and after President Abraham Lincoln appointed her to lead it, Barton sought congressional support for her mission. Senator Henry Wilson from Barton’s home state of Massachusetts was a major supporter of her effort. Between 1865 and 1868, through voluminous correspondence and published lists, Barton located 22,000 of approximately 62,000 dead or missing Union soldiers.

1 Image Memorial of Clara Barton, February 1, 1866 View All Images
1 Image Rolls of missing soldiers accompanying the Memorial of Clara Barton,... View All Images
1 Image Handwritten railroad pass for Clara Barton and attendant signed by... View All Images
1 Image Portrait of Clara Barton, ca. 1865 View All Images
1 Image Senator Henry Wilson of Massachusetts, by Mathew Brady, 1866 View All Images