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by personal observation and intercourse with these heroic women, a more clear and comprehensive idea of what they had done and were doing, only served to increase his admiration for their zeal, patience, and self-denying effort. Meantime the war still continued, and the collisions between Grant and Lee, in the East, and Sherman and Johnston, in the South, the fierce campaign between Thomas and Hood in Tennessee, Sheridan's annihilating defeats of Early in the valley of the Shenandoah, and Wilson's magnificent expedition in Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia, as well as the mixed naval and military victories at Mobile and Wilmington, were fruitful in wounds, sickness, and death. Never had the gentle and patient ministrations of woman been so needful as in the last year of the war; and never had they been so abundantly bestowed, and with such zeal and self-forgetfulness. From Andersonville, and Millen, from Charleston, and Florence, from Salisbury, and Wilmington, from Belle Isle,
and indispensable importance not only to the friends of missing men but to the Sanitary Commission, and to the Government itself, which could not without daily and almost hourly reference to her records settle the accounts for bounties, back pay, and pensions. Thus far, however, it had been sustained wholly at her own cost, and in this and other labors for the soldiers she had expended her entire private fortune of eight or ten thousand dollars. Soon after the assembling of Congress, Hon. Henry Wilson, of Massachusetts, who had always been her firm friend, moved an appropriation of fifteen thousand dollars to remunerate her for past expenditure, and enable her to maintain the Bureau of Records of Missing Men, which had proved of such service. To the honor of Congress it should be said, that the appropriation passed both houses by a unanimous vote. Miss Barton still continues her good work, and has been instrumental in sending certainty if not solace to thousands of families, who m
L. P. Brockett, Women's work in the civil war: a record of heroism, patriotism and patience, The Hospital Transport service. (search)
equently, (several of them, very soon) assigned to the Commission, and were successively fitted up, and after receiving their freights of sick and wounded, sent to Washington, Philadelphia, New York and other points with their precious cargoes, which were to be transferred to the general hospitals. Among these vessels were the Ocean Queen, the S. R. Spaulding, the Elm City, the Daniel Webster, No. 2, the Knickerbocker, the clipper ships Euterpe and St. Mark, and the Commission chartered the Wilson small, and the Elizabeth, two small steamers, as tender and supply boats. The Government were vacillating in their management in regard to these vessels, often taking them from the Commission just when partially or wholly fitted up, on the plea of requiring them for some purpose and assigning another vessel, often poorly adapted to their service, on board of which the labor of fitting and supplying must be again undergone, when that too would be withdrawn. To each of these hospital trans