1862 Civil War 'Letter' Addressed to Mrs___and Other Loyal Women
This was a pamphlet, written by Samuel Gridley Howe, one of the directors of the Sanitary Commission, that was sent out to women in the Union States in 1862. In it, the government tries to allay the fears of the women who have written to The Sanitary Commission by the thousands on the welfare of their husbands, sons, fathers, and brothers fighting for the federal government. He wrote this pamphlet in response to the many letters in which, as he stated, 'come constantly from loyal and anxious women in all parts of New England' in which they ask questions about the Sanitary Commission and its work helping injured and sick Union soldiers. They are also asking questions about the conduct of the war and what they, as loyal Union women, can do to help the cause. He asks, in this pamphlet, that the ladies not send extra supplies to the soldiers in the field because it is 'harmful and ought not to be continued' because - supposedly- they did not want the world to think that the Union Army was not the best equipped, best trained, and well-fed. He even asks the women not to continue or increase their work in the hospitals.
I can only imagine the fear and misery that these women felt during this time in our history. To see the devastation brought about by the war and to then be told something they knew not to be true must have been devastating and unbelievable. This is a sobering and very interesting little known part of the Civil War that should be required reading when learning about this time in our history.
The only other copy I have been able to find is in the The Library of Congress, so there are probably not many of them left today. An EXTREMELY RARE pamphlet, it is still easy to read today.
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