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The sanitary commission a success—women in the field, 1864 The creation of the Sanitary Commission was due to the desire of women to be of real, tangible help in the war. The plan at first met with little favor at Washington. The medical corps was indifferent, if not actually hostile, and the War Department was in opposition. But finally the acting surgeon-general was won over, and the plan took definite shape. The idea was to inquire into the recruiting service of the several States, to look into the subjects of diet, clothing, cooks, camping-grounds, in fact everything connected with the prevention of disease; and to discover methods by which private and unofficial interest and money might supplement the appropriations of the Government. During the first two years of the war, the camps of several hundred regiments were examined by inspectors appointed by the Commission, who advised the commanding officer as to proper location and sanitation.

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