PRESERVING HISTORY: Confederate Hospital at Culpeper Court House: Part Two - Star Exponent: Local News

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PRESERVING HISTORY: Confederate Hospital at Culpeper Court House: Part Two

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Posted: Thursday, July 11, 2013 12:00 am

Picking up where we left off last week and acknowledging the limited space available for telling the story, it is important that the stage be set in a bit more detail before getting into the descriptions of the two primary hospitals for the sick and wounded at Culpeper Court House in 1861.

Below is an excerpt from “Personne’s” correspondence in September of 1861 further detailing his accounts for the South Carolinians.

Speaking of Culpeper, he writes:

“It is a quiet place, attractive in its lovely surroundings. Elegant residences, pure air and water, an abundance of healthy food, and a population who for hospitality, may contest the palm with any other section of the Commonwealth. For the purpose to which it has been applied, no selection could have been more advantageous. Many of the edifices are large and commodious, comforts  of every description are readily received from Richmond, it is only forty miles from Manassas, and where facilities did not already exist, for the reception of the sick and wounded, the hand of the carpenter has created tenements, temporary it is true, but sufficient to accommodate the hundreds if not thousands whom necessity has thrown upon the community.

The constant influx and departure of soldiers has made it necessary to establish some degree of military discipline, and Culpeper is therefore, a military post, under the command of Col. A.S. Taylor, formerly of the U.S. Army.  Under his direction it is, that the present admirable system has been inaugurate, whereby the confusion and lack of order experienced in me other places has been avoided, and the invalids have received that careful attention which is required. Col. Taylor is ably aided by a corps of surgeons and physicians, some eighteen or twenty in number, under the general direction of Dr. Daniel S. Green, an old Navy Surgeon of forty years standing. He in turn is assisted by Drs. C.R. Kemper, M.H. Houston and R.C. Mason, full Army Surgeons, and Carmichael Hill, Rabcry, Lewis, Green Moses, (of S.C.) Ford, Gaines, and Reed, Assistant Surgeons. Early in the commencement of difficulties, Dr. Miller, a well known physician of Washington City made his appearance at headquarters with gun upon his shoulder, and offered himself as a volunteer in the ranks, but having too many valuable brains in his head to remain long in a subordinate position, he was immediately transferred to this post, where he has been doing effective service with his professional comrades.

Culpeper has been used as a hospital town for the * Army of the Potomac, since about the middle of April. Within these four months and a half, here have been received and treated about five thousand patients, of whom the total number of deaths has been only one hundred and ninety two. This fact, by itself speaks volumes in praise of the tender car, good nursing, and proper medical attention, which t the present hour continues to be bestowed upon the patients.”

* Challenge: The Army of the Potomac generally refers to the Union Troops, but a Confederate Army of the Potomac fought at Bull Run/Manassas and would retain its name until June 1862, when it was re-christened the Army of Northern Virginia.

Until next week, be well.      

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