Lincoln's Daughters of Mercy

Lincoln's Daughters of Mercy

Lincoln's Daughters of Mercy

Lincoln's Daughters of Mercy

Excerpt

This is the story of the United States Sanitary Commission, the great relief organization of the Civil War, which was the ancestor of the American Red Cross. From it are derived most of our techniques for mitigating the horrors of war and binding up the wounds of battle. The U.S.O., the American Women's Voluntary Services, the United Seamen's Services, and most other War Relief agencies present modern variations of its over-all structure and specific ministrations. The WACS, the WAVES, the SPARS, and other women's military services find in it the first great example of the enlistment of women for war. And, in the present conflict, the armies of all civilized nations pattern their ambulance and hospital services, and their arrangements for the welfare and recreation of the armed services, after the models first set by the United States Sanitary Commission.

The story has many heroines, and some heroes. All of them deserve to be remembered now, with gratitude, both on the battle front and the home front. On the battle front, the life of the soldier would be much less tolerable than it is today, if it were not for the many arrangements for the care and comfort of men under arms, first worked out by the Sanitary Commission for the Union Army.

The Union Army was the first great popular army of the modern type. It was the first army to include more than a million men under a single national command, and the first large army composed almost entirely of men who had been civilians before the outbreak of war. Small volunteer armies have sprung up and fought for the people's rights, under rude conditions, since the beginning of history. But never before had there been such enormous masses of men to be conditioned and trained quickly for . . .

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