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NP: June 23, 1864 Petersburg Daily Express: An Appeal for Food to Be Collected for Petersburg Hospitals




June 20th, 1864.

Dear Express: Many of our sick and wounded in the Hospitals, if not actually suffering for, are at least in need of palatable and nourishing diet—such as the government and the people of the cities cannot furnish. There is now in the country an abundance of milk, and there will soon be vast quantities of fruit and vegetables.—Let me make some practical suggestions as to the proper manner of collecting them, so as to make them available in our hospitals. It will be attended with little difficulty within reach of the Railroads. Let the proper authorities send out an agent for the hospitals, whose business it shall be to stop at the different stations, with suitable vessels for carrying the milk, butter, vegetables, &c. Let it be understood that on certain days in each week (say three or four times) he will receive contributions of such articles as the ladies may give and send them forward to their proper destinations, whilst they are fit for use. Let the agent be also authorized to purchase of those who are unable to give, and there is no doubt the supply, if not equal to the demand, would go far towards relieving the pressing necessities of our hospitals. The experiment would not cost much, and could not fail of a success highly gratifying to the friends of our suffering heroes—Will not some of the noble women of Petersburg, who are foremost in every work of love and charity, move in this matter? Let them without delay take this matter in hand, appoint suitable agents, (men of energy and industry) and in one week’s time you will see a great amount of good, will have been done. Let them have an agent at every depot, or if deemed better, let one agent attend at two depots—at each on alternate days—and when the people are assured that their contributions will be sent forward they will give with liberal hands. I have referred in the above only to those living convenient to the Railroad, but much may be done by sending out into the country, active, energetic men, with light wagons, who could collect many valuable stores and deliver them to the agents to be forwarded. I do not pretend that the suggestions above made are perfect, but they are intended to elicit reflection on a subject of vital importance, and if I shall succeed in awakening public attention, so that something shall be done for our soldiers, I shall be abundantly compensated for the few comments devoted to this subject.                       [Dr.] W[illiam]. [R. Vaughan]1,2

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  1. SOPO Editor’s Note:  In this issue’s Local Matters column, the newspaper specifically identified who called for bandages, and named Dr. William R. Vaughan.
  2. “An Appeal for the Hospitals.” The Daily Express (Petersburg, VA). June 23, 1864, p. 2 col. 5
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