Gen. Hosp. #8; WAC

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213 Main St., Richmond   Oct 23rd 1862

Surgeon E. S. Gaillard, Medl Director

I have the honor to report that I have this day inspected Gen Hosl No. 8, which has been occupied since May 28th/62 and rented from Yancy & Co. at $300 per mo.

It is situated on Main corner of Wall St. with a narrow alley in the rear. Is in the larger brick 4 story building (fitted up as a hotel) & in the shape of a hollow square. The 4 floors are divided into 7 wards in addition to which 11 rooms have been appropriated for an apothecary shop, dining room, mess room, storeroom, straw room, kitchen, bakehouse, dead house, bath room, & a large no for accommodation of the assistant surgeons, Steward, Matrons & Nurses - the whole is well lighted and ventilated, supplied with water & gas fixtures, stoves & fireplaces, & is prepared for winter but the consumption of fuel will be immense to heat the whole house.

The expense for repairs in plumbing & sewerage (?) & carpenter work has been heavy but no estimate of them was made.

The capacity is stated at 265 but is capable of considerable increase. The wards are designated by nos. from I to VII. The beds are not numbered neatly on the headboard of the bed with the name, date of admission, diagnosis &c of patient but each distinguished by nos. painted on the walls opposite each bed.

Surgeon H. T. Barter, P.A.C.S. (in ch.) was commissioned July 19th 1861 & took charge Aug 8th/62, relieving Surgeon Vorhees P.A.C.S., on doing so the property ________ for by that officer & others previously in charge were not formally turned over or receipted for.

Of the other Medl officers (an assistant surgeon & 2 A. A. Surgeons) one is on duty at all hours. The wards are divides under their charge & visited frequently by the surgeon in charge.

The attendants are 3 Hosp Stewards, 17 Cooks, 21 Nurses, 15 Laundresses.

They should be 1 Hosp Steward, 9 Cooks, 28 Nurses, 13 Laundresses

The 3 Stewards are all acting apothecaries, the mess Steward (appointed by the Sec of War) & the clerk are mustered as nurses.

There are 4 matrons engaged at $40 per mo. & 4 assist. matrons at $25 per mo. returned on Morning report as Laundresses. The Surgeon in Charge engaged them at accordance with a law which the public ______  _________ as having passed Congress, but which the Adjutant & Inspector Genl has not notified the Medl Inspector of an order. The surgeon in Charge informed me that attendants were retained as cooks who did duty as nurses, &c.

The floor, walls, bedding, & person & clothing of patients & general condition of the wards was neat, cleanly, and in good order. Many of the windows needed repair - & the bath room was not in good order for use.

I regret that I cannot report the Stewards’ apartment as in good order. In the Kitchen, bake house, dining room &c there was an absence of the neatness & precision which is as perfect in some of our hospitals as on the decks or cabins of a man of war.

Of Hosl Records, the Register was the only one exhibited – Prescription books are for each ward & diet tables prepared.

The amount of Hospital fund was not known – its expenditure being entrusted to a Steward who was absent; $600 was paid by the commissary as commutation of rations for the month of September. Several officers are now patients who draw common rations (contrary to regulations) without paying any compensation.

There is a cart, horse, & driver assigned by the Q.M. for the use of this Hospital which transports provisions & acts as a Scavenger Cart also.

There has been no guard except one organized from the convalescents of this Hosl who should have been sent to their regiments or to the Convalescent Hosl. Now a Corporal & 5 men are assigned from the Hospital guards.

The large no of 78 are reported as in private quarters. – Such patients are supposed to those who remain. The Surgical arm of the Staff of the Hosl list & report at stated times for examination & prescription – but it is usual & lawful to delegate the Surgical attendance to some other medical man out of the army other(?) requiring reports at least once weekly in person or from the physicians.

In this Hosl I was informed that all supervision ceased & they were expected only to report when fit for duty which amounts to the Surgeon giving ____ in a indefinite length of time. This accounts for the large no. reported.

There are religious services held in this Hosl by Rev. Chas. Armistead who serves gratuitously, but with zeal & efficiency.

I will not detail in particular the further inspection of this Hosl as I found nothing worthy of censure or especial commendation in any other department.

I would most respectfully recommend (1) that a copy of this report be forwarded to the Surgeon in charge (2) that he be directed according to Par 26 Med Regns No. 25, requiring one of his assistants to take charge of the Military Instruments & prepare two of their requisitions & employ one apothecary as nurse or steward to assist him. (3) that the Mess Steward be mustered as Steward. (4) That the attendants of the Hosl be mustered in conformity with allowance in Par 45 Medl Regns, the only authorized order on the subject & that such extra pay be rated as authorized by the Q.M. Department. (5) That proper restraints be placed over the patients in private quarters & Those not reporting weekly be reported as deserters absent without leave. (6) & that the Surgeon in charge [be] informed that in 3 or more days  another inspector will be ordered to see if the Stewards department & other portions above referred to are in a condition such as should be required of a military Hospital.

Very Respectfully
   Your Obedient Servant
    Wm. A. Carrington
     Surgeon & Inspector of Hosl


Page last updated on 06/14/2008