The Home Front: 1861 to 1865

Parents’ Roles

How could the government take away her Medal of Honor?

In November 1865, President Andrew Johnson issued the Medal of Honor to Dr. Walker; the citation clearly stated that it was for acts of meritorious service, not acts of valor. In 1917, perhaps under pressure from the beginning of the First World War, Congress reviewed all Medal of Honor winners and declared that they should only be issued for acts of valor and gallantry in battle. For this reason, the Medal of Honor was taken from Dr. Walker. Furious and eccentric as ever, she made numerous appearances at Capitol Hill, always attempting to badger or persuade members of Congress. She died after a severe fall in the Capitol Building in 1919. Her Medal of Honor was posthumously restored by President Jimmy Carter.


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