Illinois Sanitary Commission.
GENERAL HEADQUARTERS STATE OF ILLINOIS,
ADJUTANT GENERAL'S OFFICE, SANITARY DEPARTMENT,
SPRINGFIELD, Sept, 17, 1863.
To the People of Illinois: I am instructed to submit to you a statement of the present condition of the Illinois Sanitary Commission, and invite your aid and co-operation.
On the 20th of August, 1862, Governor Yates appointed Col. John Williams, of Springfield, general sanitary agent for the state, and requested him to take charge of the receipts and disbursements of such money and sanitary supplies as should be contributed for the relief of sick and wounded Illinois soldiers. For the past year Col. Williams has spent much of his time in the discharge of his duties, and has recently made his report to the governor of the operations of the commission during the past year.
In addition to a very large amount of sanitary stores, which have been received and distributed, about twenty-eight thousand dollars have been realized, and about twenty thousand expended; leaving in the treasury, on the 1st inst., about eight thousand dollars.
On account of the large increase of business the commission has just been re-organized by the appointment of a board of directors, consisting of Col. John Williams, Hon. William Butler, formerly state treasurer, John P. Reynolds, esq., secretary of State Agricultural Society, Robert Irwin, esq., banker, and Eliphalet B. Hawlew, esq., merchant, all of Springfield, with Mr. Reynolds as president, and Mr. Williams as treasurer of the board.
These gentlemen are well known as responsible and highly respectable citizens, and have agreed to give — without compensation — all necessary time to the work of a general supervision at the commission.
All agents are to be appointed and all appropriations of money to be made by resolution of the board approved by the governor. The following agents have been continued and assigned to duty: C. T. Chase, Cairo; E. J. Eno, Nashville; W. L. Sargent, Chattanooga; E. C. Sacket, Vicksburg.
Other agents will be appointed at Cincinnati, Louisville, Keokuk, St. Louis, Memphis, Helena, New Orleans, and such other places as may be necessary.
The headquarters of sanitary supplies will be immediately removed from Springfield to Cairo. All sanitary stores after the first of next month should be forwarded, and all correspondence in relation to such supplies sent, to the agent at that point. All requsitions for such supplies will be made upon that office.
All contributions of money should be sent to the treasurer, Col. John Williams, at Springfield. That officer will promptly acknowledge the receipt thereof and report once each week to the board, for publication, the names of contributors and the sums contributed.
All supplies and money are conveyed free of charge by railroads and express companies; and I am directed to return the thanks of the people of the state to railroad, express and telegraph companies for their liberality and gratuitous services at all times promptly and cheerfully rendered.
A sanitary bureau has been established in this office for the record of the transactions and general correspondence of the commission. All communications (except as above stated) should be addressed to this department for the consideration of the governor and board of directors. Envelopes enclosing such correspondence should be endorsed "sanitary business."
Vigorous measures are being adopted to increase the contributions of money and supplies. The directors have resolved to hold a meeting on Wednesday evening, the 30th instant, at Decatur, during the state fair, and all friends are invited to meet with them, and by their advice and contributions, to lend a helping hand to the good cause.
A recommendation is also made to contributors at county fairs to donate, for immediate shipment, vegetables on exhibition, such as potatoes, onions, beets and turnips, and to raise a fund by a sale at auction of such other articles as may be donated for that purpose.
This is a general outline of the policy of the commission as at present organized, and it commends itself to the confidence and generous support of all good citizens. It acts in friendly and harmonious relation with other similar organizations. While not withholding its aid to the sick and wounded soldiers of other states, it seeks, through the personal attention of its agents, to specially render its friendly offices to those from our own state.
I have been instructed, if desired, to visit as many county fairs the present fall as I may be able to do, for the purpose of laying before the people of the state the wants of our absent ones, and the claims which they have upon us for their relief.
Citizens of Illinois, will you continue to lend to these societies your generous support? The state which has so lavishly poured out its blood and treasure to maintain the government established by our fathers we feel sure will not now, when its granaries are overflowing and our homes are free from the presence of a hostile soldiery, hesitate to deal promptly and generously with those who now call for our aid and sympathy in their hour of greatest need.
The hearts of ten thousand Illinois soldiers may be gladdened by your bounties or chilled by your neglect. Autumnal rains, wintry winds and possibly an active campaign will increase that number. Personal attention in field and garrison hospital — cheering words of kindness and substantial tokens of your remembrance are yours to give.
Our soldiers are all volunteers. The alacrity and unanimity with which they entered the service and now proudly represent our state in the armies of the republic, have protected you form being compelled, by a draft, to bear arms against your will. When they left home and loved ones, they bore with them our solemn promises that nothing necessary to their comfort should be withheld.
In appealing, therefore, to you, their fathers and mothers, sisters and brothers, in their behalf, you need not be reminded that those promises are not forgotten; nor that for every comfort given, for every kindness bestowed, for every token of your remembrance and love, the consciousness of faith kept and duty done, will be, in all your joys and sorrows, more precious than earthly treasures.
ALLEN C. FULLER, Adj. Gen.