Since its inception in 1861, how many Medal of Honor recipients have been women?
"The Medal of Honor is the nation's highest medal for valor in combat that can be awarded to members of the armed forces."
-- United States Army
As of May, 2016, the only woman in our Nation's history to have been a Medal of Honor recipient is Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, a Union Army surgeon who received the award on November 11, 1865.
The National Institutes of Health state on their website:
"In 1865 Dr. Walker was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for her work during the Civil War. She was the first woman to receive the award, although her name was removed from the honor list of awardees in 1917, along with others, when the terms used to designate eligibility for the award were reappraised. She refused to surrender the medal, however, and continued to wear it for the rest of her life. In 1977, thanks to the efforts of her family and a Congressional reappraisal of her achievements, the honor was restored."
According to George Mason University:
"Dr. Mary Edwards Walker led an unconventional life for a woman of the mid-nineteenth century. She became a doctor when few women were even credentialed in nursing, divorced in an era when women's positions were primarily defined by wifehood and motherhood, advocated dress reform for women and even wore men's full-dress clothing to lecture on women's rights. She often challenged medical orthodoxy -- discouraging surgeons, for example from extensive practice of amputation."