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Essay Contest

Dr. Mary Walker Art & Essay Contest

Dr. Mary Walker grew up during a time period that restricted women.  She fought her whole life against society’s expectations, ultimately rising above to be a true advocate for the soldiers under her care during the Civil War.  Following the devastating Union defeat at the Battle of Chickamauga, Dr. Mary Walker was dispatched to Chattanooga to establish a field hospital.  During this time, she would oversee the care for the sick and wounded soldiers from the battle and local residents with little concern about her own personal safety. Her work drew the attention of several of the Union Army’s leadership, and subsequently, she was recommended for and received the Congressional Medal of Honor by President Andrew Johnson in November 1865 — making her the first and only women to receive the Medal of Honor.  After the war, Dr. Walker devoted the remainder of her life to the medical profession and the advancement of women’s rights, including the women’s right to vote, until her death in 1919.

In honor of the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, we are holding a special art and essay contests to honor and celebrate Dr. Walker’s life and legacy.

Thanks to our sponsors!

201 Frazier Avenue – Chattanooga, TN 37405

The Art Creations family honors our late founder, Eras Anthony [Tony] Mines, and his twenty-five plus year commitment to the Charles H. Coolidge National Medal of Honor Heritage Center.

Just like Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, USA surgeons serve our community with integrity and a commitment to excellence.


Grades 3-5:  Draw a picture that shows how Dr. Mary Walker contributed to the women’s suffrage movement.

Grade 6-8:  Identify and discuss how Dr. Mary Walker’s contributions to the women’s suffrage movement demonstrated one of the following character values: patriotism, citizenship, courage, integrity, sacrifice, or commitment.

Grades 9-12:  Identify, describe and analyze Dr. Mary Walker’s contributions to the women’s suffrage movement, drawing upon her experiences as a battlefield surgeon and a Medal of Honor recipient. Include a connection with at least one of the identified characteristics of Medal of Honor recipients: patriotism, citizenship, courage, integrity, sacrifice, or commitment.


First Place in Grades 3-5: $100

Second Place in Grades 3-5: $50

First Place in Grades 6-8: $150

Second Place in Grades 6-8: $100

First Place in Grades 9-12: $150

Second Place in Grades 9-12: $100

Winners will be announced at the Exhibit Opening & Lecture by George Demass on Thursday, May 21st.  The winning entries will be displayed in the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center’s exhibit: “Dr. Mary Walker: Surgeon, Spy, and Patriot,” along with the names of the honorable mentions.

Rules and Formatting Guidelines:

Contest is open to all 3rd-12th grade students in Hamilton, Bradley, and Marion counties of Tennessee.

Your essay must be 1,000 words or less. Only one essay per student may be submitted.

All essays should:

  • Be double-spaced with one-inch margins and page numbers
  • Include a title, the student’s name, grade level, and school
  • Be typed in 12-point font
  • Be in Microsoft Word or a compatible format

Submissions must be emailed to education@MOHHC.org.
Deadline: Friday, May 1st at 11:59 PM.