Dr. Mary Edwards Walker was the only woman, as of 2013, to have been awarded the US Congressional Medal of Honor, which is the highest US military honor and is given to people deemed to have acted above and beyond the call of duty. Walker served as an army surgeon during the Civil War and was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1865. She also was the United States' first female military doctor and first female prisoner of war. She provided medical care for injured troops before being captured and held by Confederate troops for four months in 1864. In 1916, the US War Department conducted an investigation to eliminate illegitimate medals and rescinded nearly 1,000 medals because of a lack of evidence of acts of valor. Walker’s medal was rescinded but was reinstated by President Jimmy Carter in 1977.
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