Clara Barton with Walt Whitman at Chatham, December 1862
Lying among this sea of bloody blue uniforms was a number of gray-clad wounded in need. One rebel, Captain Thurman Thomas of the 13th Mississippi Volunteers, was caught behind enemy lines, but grateful for the mercy he received. Barton treated the wounded Confederate with the same care and concern that she employed with her own boys. Her act of charity for Thomas and his companions echoed the sentiment that true compassion drew no political distinction.