The Philanthropic Results of the War in America.; Collected from Official & Other Authentic Sources, by An American Citizen
New York: Sheldon & Co., 1864. Presumed First Edition/First Printing. Hardcover. 160 pages. tables, some foxing, soiling inside boards, boards scuffed and edges worn. Spine cloth and rear board had become separated and has been reglued. Rear board consequently is weak. Condition is fragile. Brockett, Linus Pierpont was an American historical and miscellaneous writer; born in Canton, CT, Oct. 16, 1820; died on Jan. 13, 1893. He graduated from Yale Medical College in 1843. After 1847 he devoted himself to literature; he contributed largely to encyclopædias, and published over 40 works, among which are: ‘History of Education’ (1849); ‘History of the Civil War’ (1866); ‘The Silk Industry of America’ (1876). The United States Sanitary Commission (USSC) was a private relief agency created by federal legislation on June 18, 1861, to support sick and wounded soldiers of the U.S. Army during the American Civil War. It operated across the North, raised an estimated $25 million in Civil War era revenue (assuming 1865 dollars, $387.12 million in 2016) and in-kind contributions to support the cause, and enlisted thousands of volunteers. The president was Henry Whitney Bellows, and Frederick Law Olmsted acted as executive secretary. It was modeled on the British Sanitary Commission, set up during the Crimean War, and from the British parliamentary report published after the Indian Rebellion of 1857. Henry Whitney Bellows, a Massachusetts clergyman, planned the USSC and served as its only president. According to The Wall Street Journal, "its first executive secretary was Frederick Law Olmsted, the famed landscape architect who designed New York's Central Park". George Templeton Strong, New York lawyer and diarist, helped found the commission and served as treasurer and member of the executive committee.
In June 1861, the Sanitary Commission set up its Central Office inside the Treasury Building downtown Washington, D.C. By late October 1861, the Central Office and the War Department had received detailed studies and reports from the Sanitary Inspectors of more than four hundred regimental camp inspections. The rapidly crowded events of those first six months of the war displayed the sheer gravity of the situation in which the adjustment to the means and agencies were desperately needed to ensure a high health-rate in all those untrained Union regiments.
Immediately following the First Battle of Bull Run, the first orders and receipts submitted to the Central Office began to arrive from the military Union hospitals at Alexandria, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., requesting water-beds, small tables for writing in bed, iron wire cradles for protecting wounded limbs, dominoes, checkerboards, Delphinium and hospital gowns for the wounded.
The demands of the war soon required more frequent decision-making. This led to the creation of the Standing Committee, which met on a nearly daily basis in New York City where most of its members resided. The Standing Committee initially consisted of five commissioners who retained their position for the entire war: Henry W. Bellows, George Templeton Strong, William H. Van Buren, M.D., Cornelius R. Agnew, M.D., and Prof. Wolcott Gibbs., M.D.
In addition to setting up and staffing hospitals, the USSC operated 30 soldiers' homes, lodges, or rest houses for traveling or disabled Union soldiers. Most of these closed shortly after the war.
The government constructed the Pension Building in Washington, DC to handle all the staff to process the pension requests and administer them. It is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. After the war, the USSC volunteers continued to work with Union Army veterans to secure their bounties, back pay, and apply for pensions. It supported the "health and hygiene" of the veterans. They had a Department of General Relief which accepted donations for veterans, too. The USSC organization was finally disbanded in May 1866.
Letter from Col. Leavitt Hunt to John George Nicolay requesting copy of Abraham Lincoln's signature
Notable members. Condition: fair.
Keywords: Civil War, Sanitary Commission, Military Medicine, Wounded Soldiers, Humanitarian Relief, Military Hospitals, Special Relief, Ambulances, Sick Soldiers