13 June 2011

150th Anniversary of the Sanitary Commission

This is the 150th Anniversary of the Sanitary Commission, one of the important innovations developed to help cope with the unique problems of the Civil War.  On June 25, 1861 the NY Times offered this explanation of why it was important:
Whether or no we are going to have any great battles during the Summer in Virginia or elsewhere, with their immense rolls of killed, wounded and missing, is still in the hands of fate and Gen. SCOTT; but certain it is that the grand volunteer army we have in camp and in the field is now subject to the most imminent peril from the ravages of an enemy far more to be feared than the fiercest of mortal fees.
Why is this on Places and Spaces?  Before becoming a full-blown landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted served as the General Secretary of the Commission. It was an important moment in his life in which we was able to begin thinking about larger spatial issues in a public realm (as opposed to his scientific farming efforts).  Minnesota's Architecture Dean Thomas Fisher wrote a great piece explaining the significance of this last year for Places.

I posted this without waiting to see their offerings, but I assume that the NY Times will have something around now in their incredible Civil War blog, Disunion.

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