John W. Mace of Farmington, a soldier in Co. G of the 16th Maine Infantry, signed a receipt to the Maine State Agency of the U.S. Sanitary Commission in Washington, D.C., certifying that he had received one pair of socks and one cotton shirt.
Mace enlisted in the regiment at age 24 on August 14, 1862. He transferred into the U.S. Veteran Reserve Corps in November 1863. He was a farm laborer prior to his enlistment.
His brother, Wilson Mace, enlisted at the same time.
The Maine Agency Sanitary Commission office in Portland frequently sent notices to the Washington office of what freight it had shipped there. The freight included soldiers' packages from home, items for officers and items for hospitals. The contents of the boxes are not detailed.
The Portland office paid the freight for the items.
The U.S. Sanitary Commission, of which the Maine office was an official state branch, took care of various needs of soldiers and their families.
Melvin L. Jellison of Co. B of the 6th Maine Regiment signed a receipt for one peck of dried apples for himself and three other men at Emory Hospital.
Jellison, of Clinton, enlisted in Co. B of the 6th Maine Infantry on Aug. 27, 1862 when he was 18.
The Maine Agency of the U.S. Sanitary Commission provided the apples. The state branch, with an office in Washington, helped care for injured or sick soldiers as well as providing other needs for soldiers and their families.
Dr. Charles N. Thomas of Portland wrote to the Maine Agency Sanitary Commission in Washington, D.C., certifying that he was treating George Devine of Co. G, 5th Maine Volunteers, who was too ill to return to service.
The doctor commented that Devine might never be well enough to return to the service.
Commandant James J. Ferree of the Contraband Camp at Washington, D.C., signed a receipt acknowledging the gift of two pounds of clothing from the Maine Soldiers' Relief Association.
Slaves who escaped behind Union lines during the Civil War were considered contraband and therefore were not returned to their owners as the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act required.
Many lived in Contraband Camps in the Washington area.
Dr. Henry L.K. Wiggin of Auburn, surgeon for the 17th Maine Regiment during the Civil War, wrote to "Friend Watson" at the Maine Agency Sanitary Commission in Washington, D.C., about a donation of $100 for benefit of sick and wounded soldiers.
He asks Watson to give his regards to Mrs. Sampson. Sarah Sampson was a volunteer nurse. The Sanitary Commission handled requests from soldiers and their families, donations and supplies for soldiers, and oversaw nurses who volunteered during the war.
The Maine Agency Sanitary Commission in Washington, D.C. coordinated much of the care of Maine soldiers and services provided to them.
Among the agency's duties was forwarding boxes of goods shipped from home, or boxes with supplies for regiments, to the front. Many of the boxes were sent through the agency's Portland office.
The report is for January 26, 1864.
Lucy E. Barlowe of the Gorham Ladies Aid Society wrote to Leonard Watson, Maine Agency Sanitary Commission in Washington, D.C., listing the contents of a box the society sent for soldiers.
The supplies included canned goods, fruit and clothing.
Mrs. Anna Weed of Carmel wrote to Benjamin H. Hinds of the Maine Agency Sanitary Commission offering her services as a nurse in a Washington, D.C., area military hospital.
She said she was volunteering in "some capacity where I can be useful, and benefit the condition of our sick, wounded & dying soldiers."
Anna Weed was a widow, listed in the 1880 census as a dressmaker.
Governor Samuel Cony wrote to Benjamin H. Hinds, the agent of the Maine Agency Sanitary Commission in October 1864 asking him to inform the "proper department" about the conditions at Point Lookout Hospital and the treatment of Maine soldiers there.
Cony wrote that he had seen men in hospitals "whose only clothing was a cotton shirt & drawers no shoes or stockings." He added that "if such things are tolerated in our Hospital they may occur in another -- such a state of affairs should not be allowed to exist at all."
He suggested that the soldiers might be transferred to a different facility.
Point Lookout Hospital in Maryland housed soldiers who had been injured at the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863.
Governor Samuel Cony wrote to Col. Benjamin Hinds, agent of the Maine Agency Sanitary Commission in Washington, D.C., about a father, Hiram Dearborn, who appealed to the governor for a furlough or transfer for his sick son. The governor noted that the soldier and his two brothers were all in the army.
The soldier, Calvin H.C. Dearborn of Augusta was 20 when he enlisted in the 4th Maine Light Artillery Battery on August 11, 1862. He was mustered out on April 18, 1865.
The two brothers, Daniel O. Dearborn and Emulus Dearborn also served in the 4th Maine Light Artillery Battery.
Sarah Sampson (1832-1907) of Bath wrote to Benjamin H. Hinds at the Maine Agency Sanitary Commission in November 1864 about her continuing illness and inability to return to work at the commission in Washington, D.C.
She proposed that her sister May be allowed to take her place.
Sampson, who had followed her husband, Lt. Col. Charles Sampson when he went south with the 3rd Maine Infantry, was a noted nurse and soldier's relief worker.
Of her illness, she wrote that she was "learning to walk again" and was "almost a skeleton."
Sampson said she had not yet proposed the idea to her sister, but was eager to hear back from Hinds.
Maine Soldiers' Relief Association card, Washington, ca. 1863
Item 65269 info
Maine Historical Society
A small business card advertises the services of the Maine Soldiers' Relief Association and the Maine State Agency Sanitary Commission in Washington, D.C.
The agencies provided assistance to soldiers and their families in getting pay, receiving packages and mail, getting furloughs and leaves, and other issues.
A letter from the U.S. Sanitary Commission in Washington is addressed to the Soldiers' Aid Society of Bethel. It informs soldiers' aid and other relief groups that large numbers of "convalescent and partially disabled" soldiers would be released soon from hospitals and sent home.
Suggestions were offered for aiding and dealing with the soldiers, who were being released because the Civil War had ended.
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