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 Posted: Wed Jun 24th, 2009 10:47 pm
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CoryB
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Hello my fellow enthusiasts.

I come to you for aid. I'm working on a project that requires me to examine a very specific type of building.

I'm currently researching buildings at Civil War battlefields that were used as hopsitals during the time of the battles but are still used as functional institutes today.

An example would be Gettysburg's "Old Dorm" Seminary. I'm not looking for simply houses or churches that now serve as only tourist sites but rather schools, warehouses, etc. I only know of a few, so if anyone can point me in any direction for any others it would be extremley helpful and appreciated.

If I have been unclear, I apologize and will try again.



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 Posted: Thu Jun 25th, 2009 12:36 pm
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Old North State
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In a town like Franklin, TN most of the houses were used as hospitals during and after the Battle of Franklin in the late fall of 1854. Several of these private homes are still private homes. Of course, all churches in town were also used. Are you looking for certain types of institutional buildings? I'm sure it will be true in other towns and cities that when they were a battle site, most homes and churches were used to care for the wounded. Perhaps you didn't mean to include "houses?" Also, many such homes and churches have been restored or remodeled. Are you including those? Purpose?



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 Posted: Thu Jun 25th, 2009 05:18 pm
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CoryB
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I'm looking for buildings that were used as hospitals that also still serve a purpose other than being a tourist attraction, or rather are still functionable as a place of business/education/etc. I know they are few and far between and I'm having a hard time finding any, so I figured I'd ask the impressive collective of knowledge that is found here.

The purpose is actually for a play I plan on writing as part of my MFA capstone project.



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 Posted: Thu Jun 25th, 2009 05:40 pm
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mike46142
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Take a good look at the HP Bottom House at Perryville, KY.
Site of some of the most fierce fighting during the Battle of Perryville.  Also used as a hospital.

Here is part of an article written by the homeowner today:

The Bottom House served as a hospital for approximately six months after the battle. The battle had left the building with so many scars to its siding that it had to be totally replaced soon after the armies left. Today there are still bullet holes in the walls where the balls came through the windows and between the logs. The door in the western upstairs bedroom, which still sits on its jambs, was hit by a .58 caliber Minnie ball. The blood from the numerous soldiers, both North and South, still stain the floors where the surgeons did their work in the days immediately following the battle.

Link to the whole article:
HP Bottom House

Attachment: bottom_house1.jpg (Downloaded 71 times)



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 Posted: Tue Jul 14th, 2009 12:05 am
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Championhilz
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Cory,

At the battle of Raymond, Mississippi, the Hinds County Courthouse was used as a Confederate hospital, and St. Mark's Episcopal Church was used as a Union hospital. In fact, the church still has bloodstains on the floor. Both buildings are still standing, and both are being used for their original function. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.



 Posted: Tue Jul 14th, 2009 02:01 am
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CleburneFan
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There is a Civil War era mental hospital in West Virginia once called the Lunatic Asylum West of the Alleghenies. It was used up to the early 1990s, but has been empty since and is being auctioned off. I don't know who would buy it or what they would use it for.

I found that out while I was searching for another Civil War mental hospital I heard about near Washington, DC that is still in service today, but I will keep looking.



 Posted: Tue Jul 14th, 2009 08:35 pm
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CoryB
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Thank you very much for all your help so far.



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 Posted: Thu Jul 16th, 2009 05:36 am
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cklarson
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Dear Buford Trooper:

A couple of suggestions:

-- The main research branch of the New York Public Library at 42nd & 5th Ave. holds all the Sanitary Commission records for the Northeast. Unfortunately this is hundreds of box feet of unindexed materials. But I'm assuming there are hospital logs among them. You should also look at the various histories of the Sanitary Commissions, as they mention buildings taken over for hospitals.

Also go to the website of the Society for Women in the Civil War, whttp://www.swcw.org  In 2007, I think, they held their conference at a hospital site outside Philadelphia. You should write the National Museum of Civil War Medicine in Frederick, MD.

As I remember the German church still standing on the Antietam battlefield was used as a hospital.

Hope this helps,
CKL



 Posted: Thu Jul 16th, 2009 02:31 pm
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CoryB
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Thank you very much, I will have to check that out.

I am very appreciative that everyone has helped me out in this endeavor.



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 Posted: Wed Jul 29th, 2009 04:31 pm
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CoryB
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A new question has popped up during my research process:

Does anyone know of any books, websites, etc. that would list known medical conditions and diseases during the 1860s? Whenever I try a search for this I keep getting complications that killed soldiers once they had already been wounded.

To help clarify: In the play I'm writing the one character is a Civil War surgeon/doctor and through a strange rift in time, he and a modern day character meet in an elevator. I wanted the modern character to start to suffer from a disease or condition that the Civil War doctor could identify or maybe even attempt to treat, but I'm having a hard time isolating which dieseases/conditions were known and documented during that time.

Any help at all would be greatly appreciated as is all the help you all have already bestowed.

Cory



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 Posted: Thu Jul 30th, 2009 12:23 pm
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j harold 587
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CoryB , First question, The cotton warehouses beside the Visitor's center in Savanna were used as a hospital. They are now offices and class rooms for the Art College. You can see them as back drop in "Glory" for the night scece before the final assault.

Second question, the Museum of Civil War Medicine in Fredrick, Md. should have the information. I have not visited there, but it is highly recommended, and on my to do list. 



 Posted: Fri Jul 31st, 2009 04:36 am
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cklarson
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Dear CoryB,

Ditto on the Museum of Civil War Medicine in Fredrick MD.

Also go to http://www.nypl.org -- their noncirculating search field (CATNYP) and look for Joseph J. Woodward's Hospital Steward's Manual 1862 and Outlines of Chief Camp Diseases of the US Armies, 1862, reprint 1992. The latter may be on Amazon and you should be able to get the manual through inter-library loan.

My webpage "Springing to the Call" at http://www.nymas.org should also be helpful --right sidebar, scroll down. In the first section I reprint excerpts from nurse memoirs and they give a pretty good picture of camp/hospital life.

Also my fiction book South Under a Prairie Sky: The Journal of Nell Churchill, US Army Nurse & Scout is pretty much all fact based and it might help for an overview (xlibris.com/1-888-795-4274).

From reading Woodward and others, it's clear that doctors knew the basics: keep things clean and ventilated and diet is important. Although surgeons would often just wipe off a knife and go on to the next patient. They could see germs in microscopes but were not sure what their impact was (Lister's germ theory was just gaining acceptance). But overall medical schools were not advanced and a lot of the medicines were quack pills and/or alcohol or opium based. My over all impression is that the nurses did the most good as, at least in the West, they were the home and frontier doctors (see my section on vinegar in Nell's book). They had home remedies used since medieval times and learned more from the Indians, such as dandelion is good for hepatitus. I think European  trained doctors were dangerous as their treatments were more invasive, and thus, germ-ridden. At the time, hospitals were thought of as places to die, since home visits and care was preferred. So the presence of experienced mothers who were nurses was important, if for no other reason than morale, especially when they cooked, too. One Confederate woman's hospital, as I remember, had a very high survival rate considering.

CKL



 Posted: Fri Jul 31st, 2009 12:02 pm
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j harold 587
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Another line you may wish to follow if your research has not already brought it up is that the need to conserve in the south actually contrubuted to better recovery rates. For instance boiling horse hair to make it more flexable rather than using unsterilized silk sutures, and heating cotton to remove the oils instead of unsterilized wool lint to pack wounds. 



 Posted: Fri Jul 31st, 2009 01:30 pm
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CoryB
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Thank you very much guys are the best.



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 Posted: Sat Aug 1st, 2009 03:25 am
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Mr Hess53
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CleburneFan wrote:

I found that out while I was searching for another Civil War mental hospital I heard about near Washington, DC that is still in service today, but I will keep looking.



It's now called the US Senate!!

sorry, i couldn't resist!



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