Distress in New York
--Terrible Scenes among the Families of Volunteers.
--We copy the subjoined from the New York Herald, of the 21st instant.
, be it remembered, is one of the most fierce war journals in New York, and has been one of the chief instruments in producing the state of things it describes:
A rush of hungry office seekers at Washington
, when a new President
takes up his abode at the White House
, can in no manner be compared to the scene which was portrayed at the distributing office of our Union Defence Committee, Nos. 14 and 16, Fourth avenue, all day yesterday.
As poorly clad and miserable looking a crowd of humanity, generally speaking, could not be found amid the den holes of London
or the lowest portion of the purlieus of Paris
But, notwithstanding that, the main portion of the crowd possessed a hungry and poor appearance yet there was that air of respectable poverty among them which one will invariably find in the deserving class of our poverty-stricken population.
For several hours previous to the opening of the doors the immediate surroundings to the office were occupied by several hundred women, who gesticulated and wept alternately, relating in pitiful accents to one another the peculiar sufferings of each, and the chances he or she possessed of again beholding the dear ones who had gone to fight the battles of the Union
, while his (the volunteer's) only relative was knocking at the door of charity in the metropolis of the United States
for the means of subsistence.
As the doors were opened, a brilliant advance movement was made by the party, and then there ensued a scene of struggling, moaning, weeping, &c., of which to give a true description is utterly impossible.
Women clutched each other in frantic efforts in order to be the first on hand to obtain relief, fearful lest they might be neglected if left for the last.
Mothers were there with their children, whose little voices sent up quite a piteous chorus, swelling the murmurs of distress which were uttered from the throats of over two thousand starving women.
One, to gaze upon the scene, could scarcely credit the evidence of his senses that, in a city possessed of such vast wealth, there could exist for a moment such intense bodily suffering on the part of the relatives of those who are pouring out their blood — nay, their very lives — in the defence and security of a common country and a common Government Each female was provided with a card of admission, without which it was impossible to obtain entrance, as a Cerberus, dressed in blue coat and brass buttons, carefully guarded the door.
There are two rooms composing the distributing departments, and both of these were crammed to excess, while an anxious crowd waited and murmured outside the building.
Several hundred tickets were rejected on account of having been furnished by parties not authorized to do so One thousand of those tickets, which, if paid by the Defence Committee
, would amount to over $4,000, were detected by the police as coming from impostors.
A woman named Alice Doyer
, was taken in charge by the police yesterday on the ground that she was seeking to obtain relief under false pretences.
It appears that she has two Illegitimate children by a volunteer, and now seeks to obtain an allowance for them as the soldier's wife, whish latter person was also the recipient of aid from the committee.
She was locked up for exam nation.
On Friday nearly eighteen hundred persons received aid in amounts varying from $2 to $6, and yesterday over two thousand must have been to the office.