Col. White's Letter.
HEADQUARTERS 37TH REG. ILL. VOLS.
Camp near Syracuse Mo., Dec. 6, 1861.
LADIES — Enclosed with this I beg to hand you certificates showing the disposition made of the packages and edibles designed for hospital use, received from the societies you respectively represent, by the hands of Capt. John A. Jordan.
In the name, and on behalf of the regiment, I tender you, and through you the societies, our warmest thanks for the donations, the value of which to the recipients of your bounty, is not to be measured in dollars and cents, because these comforts are not to be had by the sick soldier, except through the agency of the benevolent.
The soldier who returns from the successful battle field, as well as he who falls there, justly receives the plaudits of his countrymen — but where are enrolled the names of the thousands who with patriots as fervent, and courage as true, languish and die in hospitals, or drag their weary limbs and blistered feet upon the march, till exhausted nature fails to support itself longer, and the weary, desponding, yet faithful patriot, sinks by the way side — is conveyed by his comrades to the next place of encampment, and there, perhaps, breathes out his life, regretful that he has been able to do no more for his country — the pangs of death sharpened by the fact that he has had no opportunity to show how he would have fought against treason had God spared his life. For him no monument is raised, no funeral pageant takes place. His name is not blazoned upon the pages of history, and yet, who shall say that the soldier who thus offers his life for his country, is not as deserving as he who falls amid the roar of battle.
To such, thanks to you, and to the God whose almoners you are, your gift comes — reminding the sick and dying, that they, too, are remembered among their country's defenders. Ministering elite to their sensibilities and physical wants, and inspiring the despondent with joy and hope — no work of benevolence would be more commendable or useful — an investment of a like amount of money of labor, could by any possibility do a greater amount of good.
May the blessings of Heaven rest upon your efforts in aid of sick and suffering soldiers.
Again I pray you, and the societies with which you are connected, to accept our heartfelt thanks.
Very truly and gratefully,
Your obedient servant,