|Transcript: Clara Barton's Letter to Henry Wilson, Jan 18, 1863|
(in envelope with letter of January 18, 1863 to Henry Wilson)
You will, I trust, be so kind as to pardon the trespass I may commit upon your valuable time, when I assure you that no more personal consideration could have induced it. You are no stranger to the manner in which most of my time is spent, and as often and fearfully as I watch the spirits of brave men go out amid the thunder and carnage of battle, you will not think it strange that any recommendation or movement which has for its object the alleviation of the terrible suffering at the battle field should attract all my attention, and call forth my plea, however earnest or however feeble.
I have read with deep interest the late discussion in the House upon the organization of a hospital and Ambulance Corps designed to supersede the partial and imperfect system now in operation. I need not speak of its merits in detail and its proposed advantages over the present system; they are already before you in a manner too masterly clear to leave room for one dull sentence of mine. And yet with the memories still fresh of all I have witnessed, with impression written in the blood of dying martyrs, never to be erased, all over my heart and brain.
Document Courtsey of the Library of Congress, Clara Barton Papers, Manuscript Division.