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To the Patriotic Women of Indiana

When the President issued his first call to the loyal States for help, the Government was unprovided with most, if not all, of the articles necessary to the comfort and health of soldiers in the camp and in the field. The women of Indiana were appealed to, and they supplied the deficiency in our State with a generous alacrity which entitles them to the gratitude of the nation. The approach of winter makes it necessary to appeal to them again. Our Volunteers, already suffering from exposure, against which they are inadequately protected, will soon be compelled to endure the utmost severity of winter, and multiplied dangers of disease. The Government is doing all that can be done for them, but, when all is done, they must still lack many comforts which men in ordinary pursuits enjoy, and which soldiers need above all others. Many articles of clothing, which, to men with houses over their heads and warm fires always near, are hardly more than a luxury, to men with no protection but a tent, no bed but the ground, and whose duty must be performed under the unabated rigors of winter, are absolute necessaries. They may save many lives which will surely be lost without them. These, the patriotic women of Indiana, it is hoped, will supply. An additional blanket to every man in our army will preserve hundreds to their country and to their families. Two or three pairs of good, strong socks will be invaluable to men who must often march all day in the snow, and without them, must lie down with cold and benumbed feet, on the frozen ground. Good woolen gloves or mittens will preserve their hands in marching and in handling their arms, and while adding greatly to their comfort, will materially increase their efficiency. Woolen shirts and drawers, too, are a necessity to men exposed to such vicissitudes of weather as soldiers. All these articles the Indiana volunteers ought to have now, and must have before winter sets in, if we would protect them from exposure and disease, that may be averted by this timely preparation. Some of the articles the Government does not furnish, and others not in sufficient quantities to supply the waste produced by the exposure of a soldier’s life. Blankets cannot be purchased. The stock is completely exhausted, and the government is soliciting contributions from the citizens. Will not the women of Indiana do their share in providing for the men of Indiana, in the battlefield?

The women of Indiana alone can meet this emergency, and to them our volunteers, as well as the Government, look for sympathy and aid.

O. P. Morton, Governor of Indiana,

October 10th, 1861.


[1] W. H. H. Terrell, Report of the Adjutant General of Indiana (8 vols., Indianapolis, 1865-1869), a reprint of Volume I (Indianapolis, 1960), p. 398-399.