Friday, March 22, 2013

For the love of their boys

It is a universal concept that moms love sons, sisters love brothers, and they all love and worry about their loved ones that go off to war. No matter the cause of the war this has become a common thread that connects generations throughout history.

To no ones surprise this same feeling was happening in Smyrna in the early days of the Civil War. Because of that the fine ladies of Smyrna got together and organized their selves into an aid society to help their young boys and other young boys as they went off to war.

In the now defunct Nashville Union and American newspaper the September 11 1861 edition it went into details about the formation of the Smyrna Soldiers; Relief society.
Soldiers’ Relief Society. 
At a meeting of the ladies of the neighborhood of Smyrna Depot, Rutherford county and vicinity, on motion of Rev. H. B. Hill, Mrs. Ferguson was called to the chair. By request of the President, Rev H. B. Hill offered prayer. Rev. Wells stated the object of the meeting, to organize ourselves into a society for the relief of our soldiers, now battling for our rights in Virginia, East Tennessee and Missouri, or wherever the flag of the Southern Confederacy floats.
The president appointed the following ladies to draft a constitution; Mrs. B. L. Ridley, Mrs H. B. Hill, Mrs. Beacher, Miss T. Allen.  
The following constitution was adopted: 
Click for Larger Image
This Society shall be called “The Smyrna Soldiers’ Aid Society.” Its object shall be to provide clothing and comforts for the soldiers.
Article 1st – This Society shall consist of a President, six Vice Presidents, managers, secretaries and treasurer.
Article 2nd – Any person may become a member by signing this constitution and contributing their efforts and means to aid and assist the soldiers.
Article 3rd – The Society shall meet the second and fourth Thursday in every month.
Article 4th – It shall be the duties of the President to preside at the meetings and in connection with the Vice President and Managers to solicit contributions.
Article 5th – The duties of the Secretaries shall be to keep a record of the proceedings of the society and to mark all packages.
The Treasurer shall receive and disburse all moneys subscribed to the society, subject to the orders of the President.     
The Society was organized, consisting of eighty-seven members. Mrs. Ferguson elected President; Mrs. Dr. Gooch, Mrs. Martin, Mrs. Harris, Mrs. Hill, Mrs. Dr. Richardson. Vice-Presidents ; Mrs. W. H. Blackmore, Mrs. Walter Keeble. Secretaries; Mrs. Sarah Allen, Treasurer. 
The President ordered a copy of these proceedings to be sent to the ‘Union and American” for publication. Thereupon the meeting adjourned. 
Mrs. Fergusen, President
Mrs. Walter Keeble, Mrs. W.H. Blackmore, Secretarys.
In two months times these same ladies were in the Union and American again as it talks about their efforts to help their young boys. These packages will be the part two of this ‘list’ episode.

If you're interested in the "Union and American" newspaper the Library of Congress has a bit of history on it.

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