Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Socks for Soldiers

This entry comes from My Story of the War by Mary Aston Rice Livermore. Livermore was a journalist, and an advocate for woman's rights.  During the war she was involved with the United States Sanitary Commission, organized many aid societies and visited army posts and hospitals.

Various aid societies in Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois and Indiana would send boxes of supplies  they made to the Sanitary Commission for use in hospitals.  Many came with notes.  Here are a few that came with socks.

 Dear Soldier, —If these socks had language they would tell you that many a kind wish for you has been knit into them, and many a tear of pity for you has bedewed them. We all think of you, and want to do everything we can for you; for we feel that we owe you unlimited love and gratitude, and that you deserve the very best at our hands.

Here is another, of a different character: — My Dear Boy, — I have knit these socks expressly for you. How do you like them ? How do you look, and where do you live when you are at home? I am nineteen years old, of medium height, of slight build, with blue eyes, fair complexion, light hair, and a good deal of it. Write and tell me all about yourself, and how you get on in the hospitals. Direct to . P. S. If the recipient of these socks has a wife, will he please exchange socks with some poor fellow not so fortunate?

And here is yet another: — My Brave Friend — I have learned to knit on purpose to knit socks for the soldiers. This is my fourth pair. My name is ______ and I live in ______. Write to me, and tell me how you like the foot-gear and what we can do for you. Keep up good courage, and by and by you will come home to us. Won't that be a grand time, though? And won't we all turn out to meet you, with flowers and music, and cheers and embraces?  There's a good time coming, boys!
Mar Rice Livermore (from Wikipedia)

1 comment:

  1. I've recently read "This Republic of Suffering," which makes letters like these all the more poignant to me now that I have a better understanding of how devastating the Civil War was for soldiers and civilians alike. Thank you for sharing these.