every call was prompt and generous, and made with proofs of hearty good-will, that could never be misunderstood.
The name of the association would indicate, that it covered the six New-England
States, and so, in a certain way, it did; but it was plain that to bring supplies northward from Rhode Island
would be unwise; and, consequently, those two States forwarded their goods to New York, except on a few occasions, when shipment by sea to some remote Southern ports was more cheaply effected from Boston
than from New York.
The statistics which are contained in this sketch refer, therefore, almost entirely to the work of Maine
, New Hampshire
, and Massachusetts
; they being so blended in all the reports of the association, that it would be impossible to separate the share of Massachusetts
from the whole.
In the year 1864, a statement was printed, giving the names of towns from which contributions had been received during that year, and summing up as follows: In Maine
, 155 towns; New Hampshire
, 65; Vermont
, 206; Massachusetts
, 301; towns in other States, 8.
Probably this represented fairly the proportions of other years, though it does not indicate at all the relative values of the contributions.
A small and poor town might perhaps send but one box of supplies in the year, while others, more favored, would keep a constant succession of gifts pouring into the general stock.
But, again, this last statement does not indicate the proportionate sacrifice, or rather effort (for the word sacrifice was seldom used by the women who worked for the soldiers), involved in the various contributions.
Perhaps the ‘one box from the small town’ was as large an offering proportionately as the full stream from the larger town; and probably it represented more hours of midnight work after the hard toil of the day was accomplished, and more absolute privation, that the best blanket might go to the soldiers, or that the money that was actually needed to keep wife and children from positive want should be spared to buy comforts for those who were so far away.
These vital statistics rest in imperishable records, but are not in our power to compute.
But we may bear sincere tribute to this woman's work,—a work in which all joined heartily and simply, recognizing no distinction of rich or