I am collecting data about boxes sent to the army/soldiers & hospitals during the Civil War. The following are directions for sending goods by the United States Christian Commission. As I read about packages/boxes sent, it is apparent not everyone knows how to send goods though the mail, breakage and leaks result in many a spoiled shipment.
UNITED STATES CHRISTIAN COMMISSION FACTS, PRINCIPLES, AND PROGRESS., JANUARY 1864
INFORMATION AND INSTRUCTION ABOUT STORES.
All good and suitable stores are welcomed, and all necessary freight and charges paid on them by the Commission, and are distributed by delegates of the Christian Commission personally.
WHAT TO SEND.
Cotton shirts, Cotton drawers, Canton flannel shirts and drawers, Surgical shirts and drawers, with tape strings to tie instead of seams at the sides,), Large cotton drawers, (to wear in-doors as pants,) Dressing gowns, Slippers, (if of cloth or carpet, with stiff soles,), Sheets, Pillow-cases, Bed-ticks, (single for filling with straw,) Pillows, Pads, fro fractured limbs, Ring pads, for wounds, Fans, Netting, to protect from flies, Housewifes, stored with needles, thread, buttons, and pins, &c., Handkerchiefs, Wash-rags, Old linen.
Oat meal, Farina, Corn starch, Dried rusk, Jellies, Soda biscuit, Butter crackers, Boston crackers, Pickles, Jams, Onions, in barrels, Apples, in barrels, Cranberries, Good butter, in small jars, Dried fruits.
In special cases, eggs, bread, cakes, &c., are needed, but not generally. They should never be sent unless specially called for.
Good black tea, Chocolate, Lemons, Syrups. All preparations of the blackberry are of double value.
Good brandy, Madeira wine, Port wine, Cordials. Domestic wines are excellent in winter, apt to spoil in summer.
Good Reading Matter.—Send no trash. Soldiers deserve the best. A library is a valuable hygienic appliance. For the able-bodied, good publications are mental and spiritual food. For convalescents, lively, interesting books, the monthlies, the pictorials, works of art, science, and literature, as well as those for moral and spiritual culture, such as you would put into the hands of a brother recovering.
STATIONERY IS MUCH NEEDED, paper, envelopes, and pencils.
Pack in boxes. Barrels are not as good. Secure well. Boxes should not be so large that two cannot conveniently lift them into a wagon. Pack eatables by themselves. Never pack perishable articles, such as oranges, lemons, bread, cakes, nor jars of jellies and jams, with other goods. Tin canes should be soldered; all other modes fail. Stone jars should be corked and firmly bound with oiled linen or leather over the cork, and packed closely in sawdust or hay, in boxes never exceeding a dozen and a half in a box, and nailed strongly, to bear rough handling. Jellies in tumblers, covered with paper, and wines, cordials, &c., in bottles, with paper or other poor stoppers, are liable to spill out, and if packed with other things, sure to injure them.
How To Mark.
Mark with paint or ink on the boards,--cards rub off,--in plain letters and figures. On one corner, the number of the box according to the number sent by you in all, numbering your first box *1, your second *2, and your third *3, and so on from the first sent to the last. On another corner, mark each box as from your Society, giving the name, and conspicuously also mark as follows:
“GEORGE H. STUART,
Chairman Christian Commission,
11 Bank Street, Philadelphia,”
or whatever other name and place you wish to send it to.