Clara Barton's most significant and memorable achievement was founding the American Red Cross in 1881. She was also its leader for its first 23 years of operation. A schoolteacher by trade, Barton was involved in the Civil War as a nurse who aided wounded soldiers.
In addition to providing food and supplies to wounded soldiers, Barton recognized the need to help missing prisoners of war after the battles ended. Under the direction of Abraham Lincoln, she led an effort to help families reconnect with missing soldiers. The American Red Cross indicates that her actions helped in successfully tracking 22,000 missing men.