A Sampler of Civil War Literature

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How to Cheer the Soldiers
Harper's Weekly, February 18, 1865
Commentary on "Lula's Letter:  A Child's Story"
Whoever wishes to help the invalid soldiers can do so at a very small expense of personal effort. The great engines like the Sanitary Commission are very apt to paralyze individual exertion by the obvious reflection that while every body is doing something no single body need do any thing. One very good plan of remedying this negligence is the monthly tax of a larger or smaller amount, self-imposed, by many of the most active circles of co-workers of the Sanitary in towns and villages. But another is the sending of books that have been read in the family, with the old magazines and illustrated papers.

The value of these to the soldiers in the listless hours of hospital life is incalculable. Nor need any one refrain from sending because he may have so few to send. If one person in every village sent a dozen books—if fifty papers go from a single neighborhood, the aggregate is one that can be readily computed.

A letter just received from the Ninth Crops Hospital at City Point says, speaking of the prompt receipt of a box of books and a package of pamphlets and Harper’s Weeklies, etc.: "I need not say that they are a great addition to our humble library, and eagerly welcomed by the soldiers here. It is singular but true that of all my appeals to acquaintance and others for books none have been successful thus far except in your case. It is because they are ignorant that the gospel of good books are a ministry to the spirits in a prison hospital.

Why will not every reader of these lines send a little addition to the means of amusement for the soldiers, either to the nearest dépôt of the Sanitary Commission, to some hospital known to him, or to Mr. J. Savary, Agent United States Sanitary Commission, Ninth Corps Hospital, City Point—prepaying all the charges?

Harper's Weekly, February 18, 1865


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