Carrington, GH#19

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From William A. Carrington CSR (M331): Inspection report, dated 12/6/1862, of General Hospital #19.

213 Main Street Richmond Va., Dec. 6th 1862

Surgeon E. S. Gaillard,
Medical Director

I have the honour to report that I have this day inspected General Hospital No. 19 (formerly known as the 3rd Georgia Hospital) and situated at the corner of 24th and Franklin Streets. Being in the brick tobacco factory of J__ W. Taylor, rented at $125 per month and occupied as a hospital Oct 6th 1861 by the Georgia Hospital Association. On August 1st it was turned over by the association to the Medical Department C.S.A. at which time the present Surgeon was in charge. The hospital site is on a sloping hill and the yard is too small for the recreation of patients. It contains a small privy over a sink which needs cleaning out and a kitchen which occupies a one storied frame house of two rooms.

The main building consists of a basement, 3 floors and an attic. The basement has a wide staircase leading to its wide folding doors opening into the side Street (24th) is well lighted posteriorly, but is not more than 2/3 as large as the floor over head being not dug out back to the front of the Hospital wall. It is now used only as a common receptacle for odds and ends and for straw storage. I would recommend that it be converted into the kitchen, a partition may or may not require to be put up to divide off only such space as can more easily be kept warm, leaving room enough for a store room. A straw and lumber room may be made from one of the rooms of the present kitchen, and the other could be converted into a dead house. The expense of the change will be very little, and I calculate on little difficulty in filling the stove pipes.

The first floor has an office (and just back of it partitioned off) a room for dead house and storing the effects of the deceased soldiers, a wardroom, a considerable space for reception room and promenade of patients and shut off from this by open wood slats extending from floor to floor and having one door is the dining room, also on this floor is a washroom and a large storeroom. The position of the dead house opening into the reception room and its proximity to the dining room, office and store room render it a nuisance most important to be _____ed and hence I would respectfully recommend that a room of the present kitchen be used for this purpose of it be removed or that (if not) there be a small dead house constructed in the basement embracing one of the windows by which corpses could be removed to the hearse.

The 2nd floor has a large Apothecary shop shut off by partitions and a small bath tub enclosed by a partition. It is not used as a bath tub but to wash up the vessels (?) &c in the ward which occupies the remainder of the floor. The 3rd floor is identical with the 2nd with exception of the apothecary shop, each ward contains 63 beds for patients. The pitch of the rooms is high, the windows are large and numerous and the beds are not too much crowded. The attic is used to store the effects of the patients in the 2nd ward, as the ward room on the first floor is for the first ward. The wards are not designated either by number or letters nor the beds numbered.

The Medical Staff consists of J. M. Green Surgeon in charge, Asst Surgeon Phillip T. Woodson and R. M. Patterson. The morning report shows 2 Stewards, 22 nurses, 6 cooks, and 3 Laundresses. One of the Stewards is apothecary and the other is Mess Steward and Clerk. 14 nurses, 4 cooks and one laundress is the corrected allowance.

There is one wardmaster who the Surgeon in charge assists performs all the duties of Matron better than any woman could do. The Hospital Steward gets only the pay of the Q. M. The Surgeon in Charge has made a written complaint against the manager of the Steam Laundry, that he does not return his clothes in time but retains them for weeks sometimes, and loses large quantities of them. I have investigated the charge and find them well founded. The superintendent has not obeyed the orders given him as to the receiving and delivering clothes as plainly given and is incompetent, considering the management of the Laundry the Surgeon may be excused for retaining the 4 extra laundries.

Each Assistant Surgeon has a ward under his care, the Surgeon inspects every part of the house daily and remains a large portion of his time in the hospital. The Assistant Surgeons reside in vicinity of the Hospital, but the system of having an officer of the day does not exist. It is not so necessary as in the large hospitals. Rules and regulations are posted, proper hygiene means are taken and the Hospital Records are kept neatly and accurately. The wardmaster keeps proper registers of the patients and has securely ordered and packed the effects of deceased soldiers, more have been turned over to the receiving  Q. M. Capt. Morfett.

The condition of the wards, windows, floor, beds, and bedding was notably neat and cleanly and really worthy of honorable mention. The Steward is obviously capable, faithful, laborious and painstaking for his storeroom, kitchen, dining and messrooms and the serving and nature of the food showed it.

The Apothecary department was in good order and neater than most of the City establishments. The hospital fund was $634.68 on the 1st Nov. In all things the Commissary regulations seem to have been observed. There is no guard employed as at the other City Hospitals. A corporal is attached to the Hospital and his name is on the muster and payroll but he has not been detailed from his Co. and convalescent men are detained to constitute the guard proper. There is no guard house. The Surgeon said that when patients or attendants offended against the laws he put them in the dead house and he never heard anything more from them, probably on the principle that dead men tell no tales.

There is one female Cook and one female nurse but no matron and the Surgeon stoutly[?] insists that he will have none, considering them an incongruous element. Five men are on the muster roll (one acting as corporal of guard) who are enlisted men and not detailed. I have the verbal order it wads said of the Surgeon General to remain in town to study medicine - they are both physicians, unless they can all show legal military authority to remain here they should be turned over to the officer in charge of the barracks, corner 21st and Cary Streets to be transmitted to their regiments.

A farther inspection of the muster and payroll for Sept & Oct shows 2 Stewards, 27 Nurses full time 2 months, one nurse discharged Oct 24th (1 mo & 23 days), 2 laundresses, 4 cooks, 5 of the men above referred to are enlisted men and on this payroll only receive extra pay $75 for 2 months. One of these is the corporal above referred to. The Surgeon explains that they were enumerated as patients because not regularly detailed from their Cos., if reported also as nurses, rations would be drawn for them twice. The _____ consists in reporting them at all as nurses on the muster and pay roll unless detailed and on the morning report. The morning report of Oct 31st with this exception corresponds with the muster rolls.

Oct monthly report shows aggregate 236, Transferred 4 Returned to duty 64, Furloughed 14, Discharged 2, Deserted 1, Died 2.

November (consolidated morning reports) shows aggregate 256, transferred 4, Returned to duty 60, Furloughed 30, Discharged 2, Deserted 1, Died 2.

                                                            Very Respectfully
                                                                    Your Obedient Servant
                                                                        Wm. A. Carrington
                                                                            Surgeon and Inspector of Hospitals.


Page last updated on 06/14/2008