From the Richmond Dispatch, 6/18/1863

HOSPITAL NO. 22 (HOWARD.) - We paid a visit to this hospital, situated on the corner of Main and 25th streets, a few days ago, for the purpose of getting some insight into the manner in which such establishments are conducted, having been previously profoundly ignorant upon that subject. It is, as our readers are probably aware, under the charge of Dr. A. C. Fox, of Loudon, a gentleman of acknowledged skill in his profession, and of most polite and agreeable manners. In this latter respect we found the reputation of the establishment fully sustained by his assistants. In company with Dr. F. we made the tour of the building, and publish this as the result of our observations.

The hospital is a large and commodious building, having been originally one of those immense tobacco factories for which Richmond has been long famous. It is admirably ventilated, the numerous windows and doors affording every facility for that purpose. The wards are entirely separate and distinct. The beds are excellent and are all supplied with hair mattresses. Baths, both shower and plunge, have been fitted up for the use of such patients as are in a condition to use them, and are supplied with a plentiful stream of running water. They are, indeed, the best baths we know of in the city. A reading desk, upon which all the morning papers are laid every morning, is placed for the benefit of the patients, and to those who are recovering it must be a source of infinite pleasure. We were shown into the operating room, which is fitted up in the best hospital style for operating, but we cannot say we felt much pleasure at the sight. On the contrary, we fancied that we had a pain in the leg the whole time we were in the room. We understand, however, that modern improvements have greatly diminished the pain of operations. A man's leg is cut off and all the arteries are tied up in a few minutes. We passed next through the linen room, where the linen of the hospital is kept, and thence to the drug store. The latter is superintended by one of the most accomplished chemists in the State. There is also a hall for religious services attached to the hospital a most important provision. The kitchen is remarkable for the cleanly style in which it is kept.

Indeed, an air of cleanliness and comfort reigns throughout the establishment, and at once strikes the eye of the visitor. It must have been a herculean task to have brought a tobacco factory to that state. The floors, we understand, were at first stained deeply with tobacco and licorice, besides being otherwise very dirty. But all this has been rectified, and no private parlor is now neater than the rooms of the Howard. So much for energy and intelligence.

Dr. Fox, the Surgeon, is, as we have said, a native of Loudon. He fled the Yankees with two brothers at the first invasion of his county, and joined the Confederates. He is certainly the right man in the right place, for, besides that his practice has been eminently successful, his heart is so full of benevolence towards the unfortunate sufferers that their looks brighten whenever he comes among them. He has a kind word for every one of them, addressing each individually. - His presence seems to be as cheering as a visit of the sun after a long spell of clouds and rain. We have already said that his practice has been eminently successful, and we have never heard a doubt expresses with regard to his skill and talent. Yet we think he does almost as much by his kind manner as by the use of more direct remedies. He cheers up the sinking hero by a cheerful word, and endeavors to make him forget his suffering for a moment at least. How important this is, all who know what a powerful agent the mind is in the restoration of an invalid will at once perceive.

This is the only hospital of which we have seen anything. We understand they are all wonderfully improved. If they be all equal to this we may boast of very complete hospital arrangements.

P. S. - We omitted to allude to the laundry, pantry, and matron's room. They are all admirably arranged.

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