Lincoln's Fifth Wheel: the Political History of the United States Sanitary Commission

By William Quentin Maxwell; Allan Nevins | Go to book overview

Introduction

A WORD about the files of the Sanitary Commission. Much pertinent material in the letter press books is still available. Back in the sixties and seventies clerks folded the letters written to the commission, put them in legal envelopes, labeled and numbered them; the clerks put about there hundred letters in each box. Because many boxes are falling to pieces, the numbered order is frequently meaningless. I found that a much surer way of checking references was to note the box number, the writer's name, the person to whom it was sent, and the date and place of writing; these facts are generally written in a large hand on the front of the envelope, together with a synopsis of the contents; this simplifies the job of examining masses of manuscript. The Bellows Collection ( Boxes638-42) is arranged alphabetically; in the other boxes letters are generally ordered according to the day of week and month. Microfilm proved especially valuable in examining immense collections; all that I gathered have been turned over to the Butler Library at Columbia University.

I wish to thank Mr. Robert Hill, Mr. Wilmer Leach, and Mr. Edward Morrison of the Manuscript Room in the New York Library for their help. Mrs. Mary B. Corning sent me microfilm of letters in the Bellows Collection at the Muassachusetts Historical Society. Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., let me see his father's papers for the Civil War years. Mrs. W. Crosby Roper and Mrs. Helen Bullock at the Library of Congress and Mrs. Helene Maxwell Hooker at the Huntington Library made it possible to dress this account with more than the bones of official transactions. By the help of Mrs. Henry Royal of Plymouth and Mr. Gersham Bradford of Washington I was able to examine the papers of F. N. Knapp. Miss Amy Steiner let me read the diaries and letters of her father, Dr. L. H. Steiner; these manuscripts are now the possessions of the Maryland Historical Society. At the Pennsylvania Historical Society I read the letters of C. J. Stillé and H. H. Furness; at the New York Historical Society I examined the A. J.

-xi-

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Lincoln's Fifth Wheel: the Political History of the United States Sanitary Commission
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents ix
  • Introduction xi
  • Chapter I- Making and Testing the Fifth Wheel 1
  • Chapter II- The Soldier and the Sanitary Commission, 1861 31
  • Chapter III- The Army Hospitals, Surgeons, and Nurses, 1861 50
  • Chapter IV- Ambulance Corps, General Supplies, and Medicines, 1861 70
  • Chapter V 93
  • Chapter VI- Mixed Blessings 116
  • Chapter VII- The Melancholy Battles 144
  • Chapter VIII- Battles within Battles 164
  • Chapter IX- The Ledger of Battle 185
  • Chapter X- Wheels of Battle 202
  • Chapter XI- The Wheel of Fortune 216
  • Chapter XII- The Nettles of War 248
  • Chapter XIII- From Fifth Wheel to Red Cross 267
  • Chapter XIV- Conclusion 292
  • Biographical Notes 317
  • Sources 351
  • Bibliography 355
  • Index 361
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