May 21, 1881. The American Red Cross was founded by Clara Barton and Adolphus Solomons. Known as the "Angel of the Battlefield," Barton had extensive experience in humanitarian work. Following the U.S. Civil War, she had been commissioned by President Abraham Lincoln to conduct a prisoner of war search. She succeeded in identifying thousands of Union soldiers dead at Andersonville. Barton worked with the International Red Cross in Europe in the early 1870s. She remained the head of the American Red Cross until her death in 1912.