WOMAN'S PATRIOTISM IN THE WAR.
The first gun on Sumter, April 12, 1861—Woman's military genius—Anna Ella Carroll—The Sanitary Movement—Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell—The Hospitals—Dorothea Dix—Services on the battle-field—Clara Barton—The Freedman's Bureau—Josephine Griffing—Ladies' National Covenant—Political campaigns—Anna Dickinson—The Woman's Loyal National League—The Mammoth Petition—Anniversaries—The Thirteenth Amendment.
Our first volume closed with the period when the American people stood waiting with apprehension the signal of the coming conflict between the Northern and Southern States. On April 12, 1861, the first gun was fired on Sumter, and on the 14th it was surrendered. On the 15th, the President called out 75,000 militia, and summoned Congress to meet July 4th, when 400,000 men and $400,000,000 were voted to carry on the war.
These startling events roused the entire people, and turned the current of their thoughts in new directions. While the nation's life hung in the balance, and the dread artillery of war drowned alike the voices of commerce, politics, religion and reform, all hearts were filled with anxious forebodings, all hands were busy in solemn preparations for the awful tragedies to come.
At this eventful hour the patriotism of woman shone forth as fervently and spontaneously as did that of man; and her self-sacrifice and devotion were displayed in as many varied fields of action. While he buckled on his knapsack and marched forth to conquer the enemy, she planned the campaigns which brought the nation victory; fought in the ranks when she could do so without detection; inspired the sanitary commission; gathered needed supplies for the grand army; provided nurses for the hospitals; comforted the sick; smoothed the pillows of the dying; inscribed the last messages of love to those far away; and marked the resting-places where the brave men fell. The labor women accomplished, the hardships they endured, the time and strength they sacrificed in the war that summoned three million men to arms, can never be fully appreciated.
Think of the busy hands from the Atlantic to the Pacific, making garments, canning fruits and vegetables, packing boxes, preparing lint and bandages for soldiers at the front; think of the mothers, wives and daughters on the far-off prairies, gathering in the harvests, that their fathers, husbands, brothers, and sons might fight the battles of freedom; of those month after month walking the wards of the hospital; and those on the battle-field at the midnight hour, ministering to the wounded and dying, with none but the cold stars to keep them company.
Think of the multitude of delicate, refined women, unused to care and toil, thrown suddenly on their own resources, to struggle evermore with poverty and solitude; their hopes and ambitions all freighted in the brave young men that marched forth from their native hills, with flying flags and marshal music, to return no more forever. The untiring labors, the trembling apprehensions, the wrecked hopes, the dreary solitude of the fatherless, the widowed, the childless in that great national upheaval, have never been measured or recorded; their brave deeds never told in story or in song, no monuments built to their memories, no immortal wreaths to mark their last resting-places....