Thanks for these links and your comments. I agree with you that Dr. Walker had mental issues later in life though that doesn't change her bravery and tireless commitment to her country during the Civil War. The letter you cite in which she indicated she held the rank of first lieutenant was written in 1916, when she was 83. When Dr. Walker was assigned to the 52nd Ohio Volunteers, her pay was the "equivalent of a lieutenant's salary," according to the biography "Dr. Mary Walker, An American Radical, 1832-1919" by Sharon M. Harris (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2009), p. 52.
Ok, here's my attempt to link a few pertinent files. Walker claimed to hold the rank of first lieutenant on both the 1916 MoH roll/pension reply I mentioned earlier, as well as least one other official pension application in 1912 (which was rejected). That is problematic, since she knew very well that she did not hold that rank-- she asked for a retroactive brevet/commission at the war's conclusion, and the reply from the War Dept. was an unequivocal rejection.
"A Woman Captured by Champ Furgeson," 405-406 In Deeds of Valor: How America's Heroes Won the Medal Of Honor... Vol. I. Edited by W.F. Beyer and O.F. Keydel. Detroit, MI: The Perrien-Keydel Co., 1905.
Illustration title: "Dr. Mary Walker at Work on the Field" (406)
Thanks to Steve Munson of the Civil War Museum and the Women's Museum of the Civil War in Bardstown for alerting us to this resource.
Ok, I found the source. It's her own response to the MoH roll determination in early 1916, which I pulled from the National Archives. She signs it "Mary E. Walker, M.D., A. A. Surgeon in War of 1861-5 with rank of 1st Lieutenant." PM me and I'll send you the photograph, as I'm uncertain how to post it here. NARA (DC), RG 94, E496, W-2068-vs-1863, letter of May 24, 1916.
I'll dig through my files to see if I can find it, but a quick search reveals that several books (the one the thread is referencing as well as at least one modern book) reference her as a first lieutenant. She obviously was not a first lieutenant, and to the best of my recollection she was the source of the claim. She wrote the War Dept.
Please advise where "Walker falsely represented that she had received a commission."
I actually devoted a chapter of my recent book to Walker's MoH saga, and noted that this text contains a few inaccuracies. The text claims that she was made "assistant surgeon in the regular army, which carried with it the rank of first lieutenant." Assistant surgeons did not hold that rank- they were purely contractors, and this was the subject of some longstanding legal opinions, which is why she later was stripped of her medal (the law strictly required that the recipient be a soldier).