Sunday, January 10, 2016

February 13, 1863: Soldiers' Home in Memphis

From: "Civil War Medicine: Care and Comfort of the Wounded" by Robert E. Denney

On this date, the Western Sanitary Commission opened a Soldier's Home in Memphis, Tenn, in the buildings and grounds that were the former home of a Confederate officer. The grounds, containing about six acres, contained a large mansion which had a great hall, a front porch, a large piazza in the rear, many large rooms, and an excellent kitchen Many large trees were on the grounds and nearly three acres were set aside for gardens. Only discharged and invalid soldiers were permitted to stay at the Home, which served as a way station. Because of so many of this category of soldier arriving by steamer, the Western Sanitary Commission in conjunction with the United States Sanitary Commission fitted a temporary "lodge" near the steamboat landing where arriving "guests" could be housed overnight before being transferred to the Home. The Home at Memphis had been donated at no cost to the government, nor to the Commission. The government furnished rations that were supplemented by the Commission. The Memphis Home was place in charge of Mr. O.E. Waters,, with Miss A.L. Ostram serving as Matron. In a three-month period (February-April), this facility furnished lodgings to 1976 "guests" and served over 4000 meals.


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