MRS. FALES, it is believed, was the first woman in America who performed any work directly tending to the aid and comfort of the soldiers of the nation in the late war. In truth, her labors commenced before any overt acts of hostility had taken place, even so long before as December, 1860. Hostility enough there undoubtedly was in feeling, but the fires of secession as yet only smouldered, not bursting into the lurid flames of war until the following spring.
Yet Mrs. Fales, from her home in Washington, was a keen observer of the "signs of the times," and read aright the portents of rebellion. In her position, unobserved herself, she saw and heard much, which probably would have remained unseen and unheard by loyal eyes and ears, had the haughty conspirators against the nation's life dreamed of any danger arising from the knowledge of their projects, obtained by this humble woman.
So keen was the prescience founded on these things that, as has been said, she, as early as December, 1860, scarcely a month after the election of Abraham Lincoln, gave a pretext for secession which its leaders were eager to avail themselves of, "began to prepare lint and hospital stores for the soldiers of the Union, not one of whom had then been called to take up arms."
Of course, she was derided for this act. Inured to peace, seemingly more eager for the opening of new territory, the spread of commerce, the gain of wealth and power than even for the highest national honor, the North would not believe in the possibility of