comfort, and cheer to thousands of men. This labor has taxed our resources to an extent, of which, in the beginning, we did not even dream. The vast and novel experience of the years through which we have just passed demanded far more than could be done by the constituted public authorities. To follow such armies as it put into the field, beyond the usual provision for ordinary expenses, or, at most, beyond the most pressing need of sickness and disaster, was not in its power. The love and sympathy of the people, for whom these gallant men suffered, was left to do the rest. To step in between the provision which official authority could make, and the eager readiness of personal affection, to hand over tenderly the subject of disease and suffering from the one to the other, to supply the lack of home and love to those for whom no home and no love waited and watched, was left to the considerate wisdom and the prompt and diligent kindness of hearts glowing with a generous patriotism and Christian devotion. To do this great work the New England Soldiers' Relief Association was organized in April, 1862. A suitable building was provided, and the work placed in trustworthy hands. I am sure that a concise statement of the duties this Association has performed, as the almoner of their bounty, cannot be wearisome or uninteresting to those whose liberal and unsparing charity has furnished the means of all its usefulness. From the ninth day of April, 1862, to the first day of September, 1865, we have received, registered, lodged, fed, aided, and clothed sick, wounded, and disabled soldiers, coming from almost every State, to the number of 86,073:
We also received, welcomed, and entertained New England regiments passing through our city on the way to the field, caring and providing for their wants to the aggregate number of 278,496 men. In like manner it has been our privilege to welcome, of the returning veterans of our glorious armies, 34,383 men, bearing upon their standards the names of those memorable battle-fields upon which they have won such immortal renown.
The foregoing figures are made irrespective of detachments of men otherwise provided for, and of a very large number of outside recipients, whose names do not appear upon our records, but who have, from time to time, received our aid.
This does not include the regiments which have passed through the city from the States of Connecticut and Rhode Island, the care, reception, and entertainment of which has devolved upon their energetic and able military agent, Colonel John H. Almy, whose entire time has been so industriously devoted to their interests, and whose early and constant co-operation with me has been of infinite value to the association.
We beg leave to call especial attention to our Hospital Record, the value of which will be evident upon a moment's consideration.
Herein we have secured and recorded, from personal visitations at the bedsides of our suffering soldiers in hospitals in and near this city, the names, company, regiment, residence, hospital, date of admission, wound, disease, and final disposition of every soldier who has been admitted within their wards.
The countless inquiries that came to us from burdened hearts, and the eager, painful, and often disappointed search for some single sufferer, led us to the adoption of this complete and systematic record, which has amply recompensed us.
Of the labor and care bestowed upon this portion of our work, some estimate may be formed from the fact that it contains the names, regiments, company, residence, date of admission, wound or disease, and final disposition of 91,609 soldiers.
They were from the following States:
|District of Columbia||334|
|Vet. Res. Corps||4,234|
|U. S. Navy||74|
|U. S. Troops||2,097|
|U. S. Colored Troops||509|
|U. S. Troops||3,013|
|Vet. Res. Corps||1,326|
|Pris. of War||3,007|
|District of Columbia||39|
|U. S. Colored Troops||1,635|