CBMSOP_140228_075
Existing comment:
21,000 Families Received Letters:
In early spring 1865, the closing days of the Civil War, Clara Barton found herself inundated with requests from families anxious for word of their missing loved ones. In response, she established the Office of Correspondence with Friends of the Missing Men of the U.S. Army (Missing Soldiers Office). But how did Barton and a handful of clerks manage to provide information to over 21,000 families in the span of less than four years, using nineteenth-century technology and operating out of her rooms in this building? Although Barton and her assistants wrote an astonishing 41,855 letters, even more was accomplished using form letters. Preprinted for a variety of purposes, 58,693 form letters were sent as part of a highly efficient information exchange. In addition, 1,500 names were printed on large sheets titled, "Roll of Missing Soldiers." These rolls were posted throughout the country, with the request that information be sent to the office at 437 Seventh Street. By the end of 1868, five editions were published and 99,057 copies distributed.
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