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True story of female Civil War surgeon on stage in Hopewell


“Independence: The True Story of Dr. Mary Walker,” a Civil War battlefield surgeon, a prisoner of war, an abolitionist, a suffragist, and the only female recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, comes to the Hopewell Theater at 3 p.m. March 20.
Written and directed by Lloyd J. Schwartz, and starring Kathie Barnes, the play was produced for Hopewell Theater by Tina Dwyer. Schwartz will appear for a Q&A via Zoom after the show.
Hopewell Theater is located at 5 S. Greenwood Ave., Hopewell, N.J. Free parking can be found on the street in front of the theater. For tickets and information, visit Use the promo code INDEPENDENCE22 to waive online ticketing fees.

Dr. Mary Walker (1832-1919) was the first female surgeon in the U.S. Army, a suffragist, an abolitionist, a prohibitionist, endured four months in a Confederate prison and remains, to this day, the only woman out of over 3,500 recipients to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, this country’s highest honor.
Her ordeal as a prisoner of war had lifelong ramifications for her physical well-being, but she did not slow down. If anything, she became busier than ever.
A militant believer in the equivalency of men and women, this extended to her appearance: she attired herself in “reform dress,” a skirt over trousers, which she wore for comfort and freedom of movement. From an early age, she knew she wanted to be a doctor, was the only woman in her class at medical school and would not take “No” for an answer (not even from President Lincoln).