1863 January 31: Donations Solicited in Polk County to Help the Sanitary Commission
The following comes from the January 31, 1863, issue of The Polk County Press. You may remember the September 17, 1862, post on the Western Sanitary Commission’s appeal for help, which explains what sanitary commissions did.
An Appeal from the Sanitary Commission
Impelled by the most urgent necessity, the Sanitary Commission desires to make an earnest appeal to the people of the Northwest.
There are now in military hospitals over one hundred thousand sick and wounded soldiers, and every skirmish and long march add to the number, while we are on the eve of great battles, which must greatly increase demands which these circumstances have made on the Sanitary Commission, we regret to state that there has been a lamentable falling off in the contribution of sanitary stores. There seems to be a flagging of public sympathy, and a partial remission of the praiseworthy efforts, which have heretofore ministered so nobly to the sick and wounded of our hospitals. So completely exhausted are the means of the Commission at the present time, that unless extraordinary efforts are promptly put forth for the replenishing of its empty store-house and treasury, our brave Western troops, who are doing so large a share of the marching and fighting, must suffer fearfully. Men and women of the Northwest, shall we not have immediately the activity and contributions of every family, hamlet, village, church, and community?
It is the wish of the Sanitary Commission that aid societies be organized immediately in every town of the Northwest, where they do not exist and that those already organized be stimulated to the greatest activity of which they are capable. We hope soon to make an appeal through every pulpit and every press if our country, to which it is hoped every man and woman will generously give. The Commission has made a direct appeal to the Clergy of the Northwest, requesting them to urge from the pulpit the claims of the commission on its humane and God given work.
In compliance with which request the people are hereby notified that the subject will be presented, and donations solicited at the following places in this county on the 1st Sunday in February, (to-morrow):
Osceola 10 o’clock A.M., Farmington 2½ o’clock P.M., Godfrey’s School House 6½ o’clock P.M., and on Monday following at Cedar Valley at 4 o’clock P.M.
Come friends prepare to aid our suffering brothers. While they sacrifice all, are we patriots if we refuse them the common comforts of life? But why speak thus! A people who have so generously sacrificed their loved ones to the ravages of war, will not grudge them a pittance in their extremity. Furthermore, it is requested that the mothers, wives, and sisters, of the self-sacrificing men who have gone from this County, fill subscriptions for the Commission without delay, and forward them to G. H. STAPLES at Osceola Mills, who will see that the same is immediately forwarded to the Sanitary Commission at Chicago, which is perfectly responsible, and no fears need be entertained regarding their judicious disbursement.
May the good Lord move the hearts of the people of this good work.
W. L. W. CUNNINGHAM,
S. T. CATLIN.