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Sanitary Commission Report, No. 95: Provision Required For The Relief And Support Disabled Soldiers And Sailors And Their Dependents

Creator: Henry W. Bellows (author)
Date: 1865
Source: Available at selected libraries

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We hear already of several orphan asylums called into existence by the necessities of the war. Among them, either in action or projected, and pretty sure to go into operation, are the Soldier's Orphan Home, and Colored Orphan Home, at St. Louis; Soldier's Orphan Home, Trenton, N.J.; Orphan's Home, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Orphan's Home near Davenport, Iowa; Patriot Orphan's Home, Flushing, N.Y.; Orphan's Home, New York City.


Many of our other and well-established institutions also receive these orphans.


So far as collecting them temporarily in Homes and Refuges goes, it is no doubt a beneficent plan, but only to favor their dispersion at the earliest moment in private households and farmers' families over the whole country. There is a real demand for these children. Even infants are readily disposed of to trustworthy families ready to adopt them. Girls specially are wanted to rear as domestic helpers. Boys are without trouble placed in farmer's families, if they have not been picked up in the streets, or have not been trained to vice by bad companionship in crime, whether in public Refuges or elsewhere.


Finally, we may sum up our conclusions in the following manner:


1. The number of totally disabled men dependent on the public care in Asylums or Soldiers' Homes, is small, and calls for less of the public attention that it already receives. The number of Soldiers' Homes at present existing, or with means for starting, is totally adequate to the demand. Every new one projected will be of doubtful utility.


2. The worst suffering consequent upon the war, is in the families of soldiers that make no appeal for special protection; but who, from having a disabled head, or from the want of any, being widows and orphans, are smitten in thousands of cases, with a poverty and desolation they never knew before. Town, county, and State relief does something for this class. But the pension system is their true resource, and pensions ought to be paid promptly and doubled in amount.


3. An extra provision for soldiers' families for the present winter and spring, should be made by Congress, additional to everything allowed for pensions, and not less than $5,000,000 in amount.


All of which is respectfully submitted to the Committee by their obedient servant,



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