By Pat Loeb and Walt Hunter
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Valley Forge Freedoms Foundation has honored the nation’s only female Medal of Honor winner, giving her a plaque in the group’s Medal of Honor Grove in Phoenixville.
“Whereas it appears from official reports that Dr. Mary E. Walker has rendered valuable service to the government…” the emcee, Liz Murphy, read the citation from President Andrew Johnson when Dr. Walker got her medal for her service as a doctor in the Civil War — including a stint as a POW.
To this day, no woman has repeated her achievement, yet Missy Farkouh, of the Freedoms Foundation, says she is, mystifyingly, little known.
“She was an abolitionist; she was for women’s rights. The more we find out about her, you can’t help but think, ‘why doesn’t this name fall off the tongue of every young woman?’
Or perhaps, why wasn’t it in the Grove already? Well, it could be because Congress revoked her medal in 1917. It was restored, but not until 1977, after the Grove was established.