Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Charlottesville General Hospital

By Barbara Maling, R.N., M.S.N., A.C.N.P.

Overwhelmed with patients, hospitals transferred many debilitated soldiers from Richmond to other cities. The nearby university town of Charlottesville, with its medical school, became a major medical center to which patient over-flow could be sent throughout the war.

Several hospital were created in Charlottesville to handle incoming wounded, The largest was the Charlottesville General Hospital. It was actually an amalgamation of rented buildings throughout Charlottesville. In the fist month of its existence, the hospital admitted 2608 patients. Pressed for space the University of Virginia's facilities were also used for the troops. On 8 June 1862 Socrates Maupin, Chairman of the Faculty, noted in his diary:

". . . about 300 soldiers wounded in the battle of the 8th near Port Republic arrived at the University on the evening of the 9th June and were placed in the chapel, Public Hall and Moot Court room. On the 14th, the number of the sick and wounded at the University had increased to 600 and on the 24th, to about 1400. They were provided for in Dawson Row, East and West Ranges of dormitories and in tents in the Gymnasium field and elsewhere."

The military hospitals in Charlottesville were similar to Confederate hospitals throughout the South in that little preparation had been made for the nursing care of mass casualties. The South believed the war would be short and the soldiers assigned to serve as hospital personnel, plus the slaves, should provide whatever nursing care that was needed. Southern women quickly recognized that more nurses were needed, and they became involved in caring for the soldiers.

Excerpted from: "Women Providing Nursing Care in Charlottesville During The American Civil War, 1861-1865"

Visit more Civil War hospitals at www.CivilWarRx.com.


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