From Mary Chesnut's Civil War, C. Vann Woodward, Ed. p. 133
8/5/1861; ...Went to Miss Tompkins's hospital. There I was
rebuked. I deserved it.
Me: "Are there any Carolinians here?"
Miss T: "I never ask where the sick and wounded come
From Mary Chesnut's Civil War, C. Vann Woodward, Ed. p. 143
8/13/1861; ...Went to Miss Sally Tompkins's hospital today.
Mrs. James Alfred Jones [Mary (Henry) Jones, wife of a Richmond attorney] and
Mrs. Carter [Martha Milledge (Flournoy) Carter, widow of Dr. John Carter of
Augusta, Ga.] were assisting Miss Tompkins.
From Mary Chesnut's Civil War, C. Vann Woodward, Ed. p. 149
8/18/1861; ...Miss Sally Tompkins laughed at Mrs. Carter -
whose face is so strikingly handsome the wounded men could not help looking at
her, and one was not so bad off but he burst into flowery compliment. Mrs.
Carter turned scarlet with surprise and indignation. Miss Sallie Tompkins said,
"If you could only leave your beauty at the door and bring in your goodness
From Mary Chesnut's Civil War, C. Vann Woodward, Ed. p. 158
8/23/1861; ...At the almshouse, Dr. Gibson is in charge. He
married a Miss Ayer of Philadelphia. He is fine looking and has charming
manners. The very beau ideal of a family physician - so suave and gentle and
pleasant. The Sisters of Charity are his nurses. That makes all the difference
in the world. The sisters! They told us Mrs. Ricketts was there. Mrs. Randolph
did not ask for her. One elderly sister - withered and wrinkled and yet with the
face of an angel - spoke severely to a young surgeon. "Stop that
skylarking," she said. And he answered, "Where have you sent that
pretty sister you had in here yesterday? We all fell in love with her."
The venerable Sister of Charity was ministering to a Yankee
with his arm cut off.
Everything was so clean - and in perfect order.
Dr. Gibson approached this presiding genius and asked her
some questions. I did not hear her answer, but he said: "No. No, I have no
time now - but it will be all right. Tomorrow we two will lay our heads together
and arrange a new plan."
"Stop, doctor. We can't wait until tomorrow. It must
be done tonight."
"All right," laughed the doctor - and he gravely
turned to us. We had the joke all to ourselves, however. She did not see it.
After a while she said, "Honi soit qui mal y pense."
I said, "We did not know you angels of mercy made
merry sometimes over your work." The wounded soldiers enjoyed every word
that was said.
Occasionally one looked sulky, for were we not the hated
Southerners? But I think as a general rule all that was forgotten in the
Then we went to the St. Charles. Horrors upon horrors again
- want of organization. Long rows of them dead, dying. Awful smells, awful
A boy from home had sent for me. He was lying on a cot, ill
of fever. Next him a man died in convulsions while we stood there.
I was making arrangements with a nurse, hiring him to take
care of this lad. I do not remember any more, for I fainted. Next that I knew
of, the doctor and Mrs. Randolph were having me, a limp rag, put into the
carriage at the door of the hospital.
Fresh air, I daresay, brought me to. First of all we had
given our provisions to our Carolinians at Miss Sally Tompkins's. There they
were, nice and clean and merry as grigs.
...We saw among the wounded at the Federal hospital a negro
soldier. He was with the other, on equal terms - and a sister was nursing him.
From Mary Chesnut's Civil War, C. Vann Woodward, Ed. p. 161
8/25/1861; ...A rose by any other name - that is, our
Florence Nightengale - is Sally Tompkins. Went to her hospital today.
From Mary Chesnut's Civil War, C. Vann Woodward, Ed. p. 164
8/26/1861; ...We then went to Pizzini's, that very best of
Italian confectioners. From there we went to Miss Sally Tompkins's hospital,
loaded with good things for the wounded. The men under Miss Sally's kind care
looked so clean and comfortable. Cheerful, one might say. They were pleasant and
nice to see. One, however, was dismal in tone and aspect, and he repeated at
intervals, with no change of words, in a forlorn monotone, "What a hard
time we have had since we left home."
But nobody seemed to heed his wailing. And it did not
impair his appetite.
last updated on