From the Athens (GA) Southern Banner, 10/19/1864
Georgia Relief and Hospital Association.
This Samaritan of Institutions, with its head at Augusta , and its big heart with every Confederate army, is most justly complimented in a late letter of P. W. A., in the Savannah Republican. We cannot let this occasion pass without adding our mite of praise to this generous association of noble hearted men. For two years past it has been our good fortune to know somewhat of its actings and doings. And here let us remind our readers that it is not alone to the Georgian it has brought its assistance and succor, but to men from every State in the Confederacy. “God bless the Georgia Relief Association,” has gone up from thousands of hearts not of Georgia - from the plains of Texas, and the mountain streams of Arkansas, from the Mississippi, the Ohio and Potomac, have the men come, who have been the recipients o its kindly charity.
A few devoted men, whose names will go down to posterity, as a part and parcel of this war, have bent their wills and energies to this glorious charity.
P. W. A. says:
Your Georgia readers will be glad to hear that the Georgia Relief and Hospital Association continues to dispense its benefits to the soldiers from that patriotic State. Mr. E. Saulsbury is the preset agent of the Association in Virginia, and has charge of the Wayside Home in Richmond, the store, baggage of the soldiers, &c., &c. Dr. James Camak is the Surgeon, whose duty it is to look after sick and wounded Georgians wherever they are to be found, whether on the battlefield, on the ambulance trains, or at the Wayside Home. He is one of the best men and most energetic and faithful officers I have ever known. Rev. Mr. Crumley, the Chaplain of the Association, has his headquarters at the Home, but devotes al his time to the spiritual welfare of the sick and wounded in the hospitals around the city, in the field, on the cars, in the streets, wherever indeed there is a suffering Georgian who requires comfort and encouragement, or a deceased one to be buried. I have been a good deal in the hospitals this summer, and on all the great battle fields in Virginia , and have never failed to find this faithful man at the post of duty, ready alike to dress a wound, to utter a prayer for the living, and bury the dead. Another devoted and industrious officer is Mr. ____ Walton, agent for the collection of claims of deceased soldiers from Georgia . When a soldier is killed in battle or dies in the hospital, his name is reported to Mr. Wilson, who immediately proceeds to give his assistance free of charge in collecting all out-standing dues from the government and send the proceeds to the persons entitled to receive them.
The St. Charles Hotel, on the corner of Main and 15th Streets, was opened as a Georgia Wayside Home the 20th of April, 1863. Here all Georgians passing through Richmond , either on the way to their homes on furlough, or on their return to the field, or when proceeding from the hospital to their commands, are accommodated with food and lodging free of expense. In this way 32,342 men, besides officers, has been lodged and fed here up to the 25th ult. Government furnishes about one half of the rations consumed; the balance, as well as the house, furniture and servants, is supplied by the Association. Better and more uniform accommodations could be furnished if some of those who are cared for here had a proper appreciation of the comforts and pecuniary advantages which such a home affords; but unfortunately they sometimes contract such an attachment for certain articles of bed and table furniture, that they forget to leave them behind when they depart. Thus, the innocent are subject to inconvenience and discomfort by the misconduct of a few. It is in contemplation to make a nominal charge against officers for lodging, but to allow them free access to the table. - Thus far they have been accommodated free of expense. While the Home is not intended for a hospital, many sick and wounded soldiers sojourn there for a time, and receive such medical and other attention as they may require.
The superintendence of the Home and Store keeps Mr. Saulsbury, the amiable and attentive agent, and his industrious clerks and assistants, always busy. Their compensation, as well as that of Dr. Camak, Mr. Crumley and Mr. Walton, is merely nominal, but they have their reward in the gratitude of their countrymen, and in the consciousness of a noble duty earnestly and faithfully performed.
P. W. A.