This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 their assistants, and the stores consecrated to the service of the invalid should be respected. Encouraged by the favorable reception of his declared convictions he addressed to the War Ministers of nearly all the States of Europe a proposition to send official delegates to Geneva to consider and establish them. Fourteen governments complied, and after four days consultation their representatives adopted a programme demanding neutralization during war by belligerent nations of ambulances and hospitals, their staff and material, and the adoption of a common flag and badge for those engaged in the charitable work. M. Dunant, M. Monier, and General Dupin, with others, continued to labor to effect the practical realization of these objects. Committees were established in the various kingdoms. Commissioners were dispatched to observe the course of events during the war in Schleswig-Holstein, and to ascertain how far voluntary efforts might be made available in mitigating the horrors of war without interfering with the efficiency of military operations—for a great part of the conception of the authors of this Congress was to provide for the organization and official reception of such voluntary charitable corps in time of war. Subsequently they supplicated the Swiss government, as a neutral power, to take the initiative in inviting all the sovereign powers to concert stipulations, which might be introduced into the law of nations, as to the character of the wounded and of those who bring them succor. This invitation was generally accepted, and resulted in the important convention of 1863, from which the basis of a Congress issued. It was a great work to have sprung so rapidly from the initiative of a few private individuals; and the names of its authors well deserve to be consecrated high on the roll of the greatest benefactors of all time. To Florence Nightingale, of England, heroine nurse of the Crimean war, and to Henri Dunant, the Geneva physician, the world is indebted for great progress in the advancement of humane efforts in warfare, and their impress upon civilization in that direction. To what extent information of these humane propositions became known and supported in the United States has not been ascertained, but it would seem to appear that unhappily they aroused no public interest, nor consideration by the government. It was but a short while after M. Dunant gave to the world his ‘Souvenir of Solferino,’ that the great war between the States began, and continued for four years. Incalculable physical suffering and mental distress would have been avoided had there been some community of thought
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.