Although the soldiers and sailors of the army and navy of the Union won all the honors gained in the field of battle or on the decks of the national ships, and deserved all the laurels they gathered by their skill and bravery in the trying days when the republic was in peril, they were not the only actors in the greatest strife of the nineteenth century. Not all the labor of "saving the Union" was done in the trenches, on the march, on the gun deck of a man-of-war, or in other military and naval operations, though without these the efforts of all others would have been in vain. Thousands of men and women who never "smelled gunpowder," who never heard the booming cannon, or the rattling musketry, who never witnessed a battle on sea or land, but who kept their minds and hearts in touch with the holy cause, labored diligently and faithfully to support and sustain the soldiers and sailors at the front.
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