Back in the “before times” in 2019, I was honored to received a Mellon Short-term Research Fellowship with the Massachusetts Historical Society. Over the course of a few months, I did a deep dive into their collections related to the U.S. Sanitary Commission and returning Civil War soldiers. It was a great opportunity and I’m grateful to Kanisorn Wongsrichanalai (Director of Research) and Katy Morris (Asst. Director of Research) for their support of my work.
The papers at MHS relating to the New England Women’s Auxiliary Association (a subsidiary of the U.S. Sanitary Commission) were particularly helpful to my project in that they illuminate the activities of an important relief organization which refused to close up shop after the dissolution of the Sanitary Commission. As evidenced by their Executive Committee minutes and correspondence books, the women of the NEWAA, led by the formidable Abby May, were determined to continue their work for discharged soldiers, even going so far as to urge the Boston branch of the Sanitary Commission to remain in operation.
I was happy to be able to write a short article on this for the “Beehive,” the blog of the Massachusetts Historical Society which you can read here: http://www.masshist.org/beehiveblog/2020/03/continuing-the-work-boston-women-aid-to-civil-war-veterans-families/