Place of publication: Rendezvous of Distribution [Alexandria], VA
Alexandria, Virginia, located on the western bank of the Potomac River, was a key center of activity for both the Union and the Confederacy. It was here that Amy Morris Bradley earned her place as a heroine of the Civil War, despite the societal limitations placed upon women at that time.
Born in 1823 in East Vassalboro, Maine, Bradley was an apt student and earned her teaching degree by the age of 16. When the Civil War began, Bradley volunteered as a Union Army nurse and served in numerous encampments, ultimately becoming an administrator of the U.S. Sanitary Commission. She was eventually transferred to Alexandria, where she helped establish hospital, bathing, and cooking services for the army. During this time, Bradley assisted more than one hundred thousand hospitalized soldiers obtain back pay and discharge papers. By 1864, the hospital camp in Alexandria had been restructured as Camp Distribution, a station for soldiers awaiting their deployment orders. It was here on February 17, 1864, that Bradley began publishing the Soldiers' Journal to provide military news to Union forces.
The Soldiers' Journal was printed weekly, for a price of five cents per issue, or two dollars per year. The eight-page issues included poetry, miscellaneous articles about battles and major war figures, letters from soldiers, camp and personal intelligence, as well as hospital, sanitary, supply, and special relief department directories. During the Journal's s short life, the paper's distribution grew to more than twenty thousand subscribers, including Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant. Finally discontinued in June 1865, the Journal was sold with proceeds from the sale donated to an orphanage.