Sally Tompkins Letter

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From the National Archives, RG 109, Ch. 6, Vol. 364, “Letters Sent & Received, Medical Director’s Office, 1864-65.” p. 370-371

Robertson Hospital
June 9, 1864

Dr. Carrington
            Sir
                    I have just received the Copy of your order to close the Robertson Hospital & in justification of myself, must make the following statement.

Dr. Garnett’s endorsement on the morning report of June 5th “that this Hospital, limited to 19 patients, numbered 44,” was written under a misapprehension of the facts. The number allowed (by measurement,) was 22, but in consideration of the number of chambers – it was extended to 25. Dr. Garnett found on examination that there were occupying beds in the Hospital – at that time but 22 patients. The remainder – entirely with his approbation; sleeping in private quarters, but fed & tended in this Hospital. Had Dr. Garnett but suggested that he considered the sick & wounded too much crowded, I certainly would have had them transferred to other Hospitals, but I was entirely unconscious of the fact.

If I have ever been guilty “of violation of orders, or disregard for the safety of the wounded” it has proceeded entirely from ignorance & not from intention; it being my earnest wish to do what is right. Dr. Garnett’s numerous engagements have prevented his giving much of his time & attention to the patients of late – notwithstanding I think the register of this Hospital will show as great success in its management of the sick & wounded as any other. Since the 1st of last June, we have had 337 patients & but 8 deaths. Many of them sent to us were (by the statement of Dr. Garnett made to myself), the worse cases.

Should this statement of facts remove your objections to this Hospital, I induce you to withdraw your order – it shall be my aim to endeavor to conform to all rules, to the best of my knowledge.

Very Respectfully Yours,
S. L. Tompkins

[on verso]

Miss S. L. Tompkins

Robertson Hospital
June 9, 1864

Making explanations in regard to Hospital

M. D. O. [Medical Director’s Office] Recd June 10, 1864

Page last updated on 02/12/2008