Long ago I added to the true old adage of "What is everybody's business is nobody's business," another clause which, I think, morethan any other principle has served to influence my actions in life. That is, What is nobody's business is my business.
Although its growth may seem to have been slow, it is to be remembered that it is not a shrub, or plant, to shoot up in the summerand wither in the frosts. The Red Cross is a part of us--it has come to stay--and like the sturdy oak, its spreading branches shall yet encompass and shelter the relief of the nation.
My business is stanching blood and feeding fainting men; my post the open field between the bullet and the hospital. I sometimes discuss the application of a compress or a wisp of hay under a broken limb, but not the bearing and merits of a political movement. I make gruel--not speeches; I write letters home for wounded soldiers, not political addresses.
Oh northern mothers wives and sisters, all unconscious of the hour, would to Heaven that I could bear for you the concentrated woe which is so soon to follow, would that Christ would teach my soul a prayer that would plead to the Father for grace sufficient for you, God pity and strengthen you every one.
I don't know how long it has been since my ear has been free from the roll of a drum. It is the music I sleep by, and I love it.... I shall remain here while anyone remains, and do whatever comes to my hand. I may be compelled to face danger, but never fear it, and while our soldiers can stand and fight, I can stand and feed and nurse them.
It is wise statesmanship which suggests that in time of peace we must prepare for war, and it is no less a wise benevolence that makes preparation in the hour of peace for assuaging the ills that are sure to accompany war.