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In the first place, it
is impossible to take Vicksburg in the front without too great a
loss of life and material, for the reason that the river is only
about half a mile wide, and our forces would be in point-blank
range of their guns, not only from their water-batteries which
line the shore, but from the batteries that crown the hills,
while the enemy would be protected from the range of our fire.

By examining the map I enclose, you will at once perceive why a
place of so little apparent strength has been enabled to resist
the combined fleets of the Upper and Lower Mississippi. The most
economical plan for the reduction of Vicksburg now, is to push a
column from Memphis or Corinth down the Mississippi Central
Railroad to Jackson, the capital of the State of Mississippi. The
occupation of Jackson, and the command of the railroad to New
Orleans, would compel the immediate evacuation of Vicksburg, as
well as the retreat of the entire rebel army east of that line;
and by another movement of our army from Jackson, Miss., or from
Corinth to Meridan, in the State of Mississippi, on the Ohio and
Mobile Railroad, especially if aided by a movement of our
gun-boats on Mobile, the Confederate forces, with all the
disloyal men and slaves, would be compelled to fly east of the
Tombigbee. Mobile being then in our possession, with 100,000 men
at Meridan, would redeem the entire country from Memphis to the
Tombigbee River. Of course I would have the gun-boats with a
small force at Vicksburg, as auxiliary to this movement. With
regard to the canal, Vicksburg can be rendered useless to the
Confederate army upon the very first rise of the river; but I do
not advise this, because Vicksburg belongs to the United States,
and we desire to hold and fortify it, for the Mississippi River
at Vicksburg and the Vicksburg and Jackson Railroad will become
necessary as a base for our future operations. Vicksburg might
have been reduced eight months ago, as I advised after the fall
of Fort Henry, and with much more ease than it can be done
to-day.

It will be recollected that after a month's attack upon Vicksburg,
commencing June 28, 1862, by the combined Farragut fleet, Porter
mortar flotilla and the gun-boat fleet under Capt. C. H. Davis, the
bombardment of the city was suspended, it being found impossible to
capture and hold it with the forces at command.

In October, 1862, Grant was appointed to the command of the forces
from New Orleans to Vicksburg under the name of the "Department of
Tennessee," and the capture of this "Gibraltar of the Confederacy" was
once more attempted. This was the period of Miss Carroll's memorial
above given, and the results proved the wisdom of her suggestions, as
it was not until the army, by an attack upon its rear, were enabled to
capture this stronghold, July 4, 1863, more than a year after the
first demand of Farragut's fleet for its capitulation. Had it been
attacked immediately after the fall of Fort Henry, according to Miss
Carroll's plan, many lives, costly munitions of war, and much valuable
time would have alike been saved. Miss Carroll's claim before Congress
in connection with the Tennessee campaign of 1862, shows that the
Military Committee of the United States Senate at the third session of
the 41st Congress, reported (document 337), through Senator Howard,
that Miss Carroll "furnished the Government the information which
caused the change of the military expedition which was preparing in
1861 to descend the Mississippi, from that river to the Tennessee
River." The same committee of the 42d Congress, second session
(document 167), reported the evidence in support of this claim. For
the House report of the 46th Congress, third session, see document
386.[8]

No fact in the history of our country is more clearly proved than that
its very existence is due to the military genius of Miss Carroll, and
no more shameful fact in its history exists, than that Congress has
refused all recognition and reward for such patriotic services because
they were rendered by a woman. While in the past twenty years
thousands of men, great and small, have received thanks and rewards
from the country she saved--for work done in accordance with her
plans--Grant, first made known at Donelson, having twice received the
highest office in the gift of the nation--having made the tour of the
world amid universal honors--having received gifts of countless value
at home and abroad--Miss Carroll is still left to struggle for a
recognition of her services from that country which is indebted to her
for its very life.


DOROTHEA DIX,

GOVERNMENT SUPERINTENDENT OF NURSES.

Upon the breaking out of the war, Miss Dix, who for years had been
engaged in philanthropic work, saw here another requirement for her
services and hurried to Washington to offer them to her country. She
found her first work in nursing soldiers who had been wounded by the
Baltimore mob.[9] Upon June 10, 1861, she received from the War
Department, Simon Cameron at that time its head, an appointment as the
Government Superintendent of Women Nurses. Secretary Stanton,
succeeding him, ratified this appointment, thus placing her in an
extraordinary and exceptional position, imposing numerous and onerous
duties, among them that of hospital visitation, distributing supplies,
managing ambulances, adjusting disputes, etc. But while appointed to
this office by the Government, Miss Dix found herself as a member of a
disfranchised class, in a position of authority without the power of
enforcing obedience, and the subject of jealousy among hospital
surgeons, which largely militated against the efficiency of her
work.[10]


ELIZABETH BLACKWELL, M.D.

THE SANITARY COMMISSION.

It has been computed that since the historic period, fourteen thousand
millions of human beings have fallen in the wars which men have waged
against each other. From careful statistics it has also been estimated
that four-fifths of this loss of life has been due to privation,
exposure, and want of care. At an early day the mortality from
sickness was evidently far greater than the above estimate; as late as
the Crimean War, this mortality reached seven-eighths of the whole
number of deaths. Military surgery was formerly but little understood.
The wounded and sick of an army were indebted to the chance aid of
friend or stranger, or were left to perish from neglect. Nothing has
ever been held so cheap as human life, unless, indeed, it were human
rights. But even from times of antiquity we read of women, sometimes
of noble birth, who followed the soldiers to the field, treating the
wounds of friend or lover with healing balms or rude surgical
appliance. To woman is the world indebted for the first systematic
efforts toward relief, through the establishment of hospitals for sick
or wounded soldiers. As early as the fifth century, the Empress Helena
erected hospitals on the routes between Rome and Constantinople, where
soldiers requiring it, received careful nursing.

In the ninth century an order of women, who consecrated themselves to
field work, arose in the Catholic Church. They were called Beguines,
and everywhere ministered to the sick and wounded of the armies of
Continental Europe during its long period of devastating wars.

To Isabella of Spain,[11] she who sold her jewels to fit Columbus for
the discovery of a New World, is modern warfare most indebted for a
mitigation of its horrors, through the establishment of the first
regular Camp Hospitals. During her war with the Moors she caused a
large number of tents to be furnished at her own charge, with the
requisite medicines, appliances, and attendants for the wounded and
sick of her army. These were known as the "Queen's Hospitals," and
formed the inception of all the tender care given in army hospitals by
the most enlightened nations of to-day.

It is but a few years since Christendom was thrilled by the heroism of
a young English girl of high position, Florence Nightingale, who
having passed through the course of training required for hospital
nurses, voluntarily went out to the Crimea at the time when English
soldiers, wounded and sick, were dying by scores and thousands without
medicine or care, broke over the red-tape rules of the army, and with
her corps of women nurses, brought life in place of death, winning the
gratitude and admiration of her country and mankind by her
self-sacrifice and her powers of organization. Rev. Henry Kinglake, in
his "History of the Crimea," says she brought a priceless
reinforcement of brain power to the nation at a time when the brains
of Englishmen had given signs of inanition.

A few years later brought our own civil war, and the wonderful
sanitary commission, more familiarly known as "The Sanitary," the
public records of which are a part of the history of the war; its
sacrifices and its successes have burned themselves deep into the
hearts of thousands upon thousands. Its fairs in New York, New
England, and the Northwest, were the wonders of the world in the
variety and beauty of their exhibits and the vast sums realized from
them. Scarcely a woman in the nation, from the girl of tender
years,[12] to the aged matron of ninety, whose trembling hands scraped
lint or essayed to knit socks and mittens for "the boys in blue," but
knows its work, for of it they were a part. But not a hundred of all
those thousands who toiled with willing hands, and who, at every
battle met anew to prepare or send off stores, knows that to one of
her own sex was the formation of the Great Sanitary due.[13]

Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, returning to this country from England about
the time of the breaking out of the war, fresh from an acquaintance
with Miss Nightingale, and filled with her enthusiasm, at once called
an informal meeting at the New York Infirmary[14] for Women and
Children, where, on April 25th, 1861, the germ of the sanitary, known
as the Ladies' Central Relief,[15] was inaugurated.



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