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Author Topic: Christian Aid Society: Info please?  (Read 3661 times)
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Lauren Burke
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« on: January 12, 2011, 02:42:52 PM »

Greetings everyone!

I?m new here at the Academy. In a way I?m also new to reenacting. I grew up reenacting with my parents, but health issues got in the way, and I had to quit mid-high school. I?m reentering the reenacting world as an adult, and I still haven?t settled on the kind of impression I?d like to do. I?m looking for something to tie in with a middle-class rural background.

Can anyone direct me to information about the Christian Aid Society?
I know very little about the organization and what influence it would have had on its members. I?d like to learn about its mission statement, activities, and where and how it functioned. Does anyone have information that might help me decide if this is a good direction to go?

Thanks!

Lauren Burke
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NoahBriggs
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« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2011, 03:26:47 AM »

Hello, and welcome!  It's good to see you "back on the block", so to speak.

As for your question, I have not heard of a "Christian Aid Society" during the War.  The closest I can come up with would be the US Christian Commission, which was an organization similar to the Sanitary Commission.  In short, both groups collected material and financial donations from thousands of citizens and redistributed them throughout the armies as needed.  The USCC also set up little stations in the camps with free munchies, small libraries, free stationery and postage, and helped the troops send boxes home through Adams Express.  They also held religious services and handed out tracts.

I'm pretty sure others will chime in eventually, but there is a lot of primary and secondary source material online and off about the USCC.  Unfortunately I am not as familiar with Southern relief organizations, so please keep this Northern bias in mind as you read.
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Beth Chamberlain
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« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2011, 12:34:35 PM »

Actually there was at the very least on Christian Aid Society in the mid century, my suspicion is that there were more. The one I know of was in the NYC area and seems to have had multiple neighborhood based chapters. So instead of assuming that we know what Lauren is looking for why don't we clarify the question.

Lauren - the SA covers several decades and an a remarkably broad spectrum of places and populations. It's often helpful to tip us off as to your place and time frame - even once you have been around for a while since some of us tend to forget  Roll Eyes. There was a multitude of religious and semi-religious based aid organizations in the 19th century. If you are indeed looking for something during the Civil War and are looking for a large organization from the Union you likely want one of the two Noah mentioned. If you're looking for something else give us a few more details and someone will likely pop out of the woodwork with some information.

There is a pretty long history of conversations stored here so you might want to acquaint yourself with the search function to see where we might have already gone.  The search button is up on the top just below the pictures.

Beth
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Lauren Burke
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« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2011, 03:53:27 PM »

Thank you both for your information. Sorry, I was a bit scatterbrained and I don't think I specified that I am most interested in Civil War reenacting. I also intend to do some volunteering at Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site in central IL this summer (so 1830s for that venue). Those are probably the only two periods I'll be concerned about.  Smiley

Thanks for mentioning the Christian Commission; I'll definitely be looking into that. And the only two instances of the Christian Aid Society I'd heard about were based in New York... and Iowa? Ohio?  Undecided But at least it's a place to start. I've looked around the forum quite a bit for anything relating to the Christian Aid Society, but I'll look into the other groups. And then I'll be back with some better-informed questions.   Cheesy

Thanks again!
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Anna Worden Bauersmith
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« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2011, 09:25:05 PM »

Lauren - Look on Google Books. You will find some post war reports about various Christian Aid Societies during the CW. You might be able to get some information from what you find there to back track to earlier groups with the same or previous names.
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