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Chapter 47: freedmen's aid societies and an act of congress creating a Bureau of refugees, freedmen and abandoned lands

During the progress of the war it was a noble characteristic of our home people that they followed the armies with such abundant evidence of their interest and affection. Through the Christian and Sanitary Commissions, they showed themselves in every hospital, on every field after battle, and in every camp. With faithful assiduity they pressed forward an abundance of supplies and agents to distribute them to the front, to such an extent that commanders like Sherman, in the light of what they deemed larger interests, at times were obliged to restrain their ardor; but such restraints were infrequent and caused by a temporary necessity.

Voluntary contributions of $12,440,294.57 of cash expenditures and more than double this amount in clothing and comforts were thus generously given through these two leading commissions. The commissions sought to better the rations, to prevent sickness, to supply the hospitals with all possible home relief, to succor the wounded, and to smooth the pillows of those who could not live. And, really, not the least

Aggregate cash expenditure Sanitary Commission$6,962,014.26
Aggregate cash expenditure Christian Commission5,478,280.31

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W. T. Sherman (1)
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