The Sanitary Wants of our Soldiers.
State of Illinois, Executive Department,
Springfield, August 20, 1862.
To the people of Illinois:
FELLOW CITIZENS — My attention has been called, more particularly during the last few weeks, to the sanitary condition of our soldiers in camps and hospitals. Although the general health of our army in the south has very much improved since last spring, the sick and well are alike in need of fresh vegetables, fruits, and those articles of food which cannot be obtained in the states in which they are quartered, but of which we at home have a great abundance. The want of these necessary articles is more especially and painfully felt by the soldiers confined in hospitals.
Our sanitary commissions have done, and are doing a great and noble work. Their deeds will shine forth in great and glorious contrast with the inhumanities of a rebellion more wicked and causeless than any the world has ever witnessed. Still the necessities of our brave volunteers demand greater efforts in their behalf; and I turn aside for a moment from the pressing duties of the hour, to urge upon you to respond to the calls of humanity. In the present excitement of the call to arms, do not let us forget the wants of our brave citizen soldiers already in the field, most of whom have uncomplainingly endured sufferings and privations of which we, in our happy and peaceful homes, can have no conception. Let us, then, care for our brothers in arms. Let us save them from those tortures and sufferings of disease which are more to be dreaded than the perils of the battle field itself.
I therefore appeal to one and all of my fellow citizens to contribute of their stores, liberally and continuously. A great quantity is not needed at a time, but the supplies should be kept upward each week. To facilitate this work a state agent has been appointed and located at Cairo. He is instructed to receive and forward any packages donated, and directed to his care. Arrangements have also been made with the different railroads to forward all contributions by express. A depot will also be established at Springfield for the accommodation of those residing on or near the Great Western, and Chicago, Alton, and St. Louis railroads.
I have designated Col. John Williams, state commissary general, to take charge of this department. To Col. W. all packages and communications upon this subject will be addressed. — Other depots will also be established under the direction of Col. Williams, and of which due notice will be given.
One shipment has been made this week; and I confidently expect the response to this appeal will enable me to make another next week.
The articles more especially needed at this time are: fruits of various kinds, potatoes, onions, chickens, eggs and butter. Canned fruits, except apples, are preferred.
RICHARD YATES, Governor of Illinois.