Sunday, February 10, 2013

Confederate Records for Free, Slave, White and Black

Confederate: Chimborazo Hospital, Richmond VA
Confederate Hospital Records
Many Confederate records were destroyed, often on purpose, so when we discover a useful resource for genealogical research of Confederate ancestors, we do a happy dance. Record Group 109, War Department Collection of Confederate Records holds the captured or surrendered “Rebel Archives, ”but it’s the Records of (Confederate) Hospitals, RG 109.8.4, that provides additional information on our individual ancestors that served the Confederacy.

A Good Place To Start
The Confederate Congress passed the “Act to better provide for the sick and wounded of the Army in Hospitals” on 27 September 1862.  However hospital records are dated as early as 1861: Record Group 109.8.4, Records of (Confederate) Hospitals.  Although not complete, you may find your Confederate ancestor listed or named correspondence and documentations included in the Records of the Medical Department, Confederate War Departments, 1861-1865.
If your ancestor was hospitalized in the Richmond Virginia area, there were many beds. The records of each of the area hospitals should be checked but the Chimborazo Hospital  in Richmond, VA was the largest, with an 8000 patient capacity; and Winder Hospital, with a capacity of 5000 patients, also in Richmond.

If you find your ancestor in a nearby Confederate Cemetery, be sure to check the records of the closest hospital. For example: the Shelby Springs Confederate Cemetery listings has 105 graves listed on Find A Grave, many of the veterans interred here were patients at the Shelby Springs Confederate Hospital.

What to Expect
Besides listings of patients, and officers, the researcher may also find their Civil War Confederate veteran in the collection of hospital musters, lists of medical officers, lists of patients, soldier discharges, and more in Record Group 109.8.1 and Record Group 109.8.2. A bonus, should it be located, is the “Soldier’s Furlough Passes.” These records can be located in RG 109.8.2 Records of Medical Directors.  Again, not complete, but the passes provide the dates of when a solder was furloughed from the hospital and furlough information directed to the soldier.

As for vocabulary on these records, know that muster rolls were personnel lists and records to include the wage amounts.

African American Confederate Ancestors
There are few records that record the black that serviced the Confederate military. However, the collection of medical records gives an account of African Americans that served in a medical facility as a civilian employee. Civilian employees may have been cooks, laundresses, etc. The recording of black Civilian workers varied between medical facilities. Know that not all hospitals recorded their black civilians or slaves. However, if available the African American records can be found in the hospital muster and clothing rolls, 1861-1865, RG 109.8.1. Most of the muster lists provide the employee, the name of owner and the date of service, and type of service. Even slaves who were placed at medical facilities are listed, but only by first name. As usual, to conduct your slave research, a slave master must be known, but they are named on these records.

In Richmond hospitals there are five (5) Confederate volumes targeting the African American workers.  These volumes are not indexed, but available:
  • List of colored employees, General Hospital No. 21, 1862-1863 (Vol. 14)
  • Lists of employees and accounts for food purchased, Chimborazo Hospital No. 1, 1862-1865 (Vol. 307) 
  • Record book, Chimborazo Hospital No. 1, 1862-1865 (Vol. 310)
  • Lists of employees, Chimborazo Hospital No. 2, 1862-1865 (Vol. 85)  
  • Jackson Hospital, lists of employees, Division Nos. 1-4, 1863-1864 (Vol. 187) 
Locations of Hospitals
A listing of these Confederate States assigned hospitals with salvaged records is below.
Fort Morgan Hospital, 1862-64
Ross General Hospital (Mobile), 1861- 65
Shelby Springs General Hospital, 1864-65
Rock Hotel Hospital (Little Rock), 1862-63
Walker General Hospital (Columbus), 1864-65
General Hospital No. 1 (Savannah), 1862-64
Additional hospitals at Dalton, 1862-63, and Macon, 1862-65
Bowling Green Hospital, KY, 1861-62
            Shreveport General Hospital, LA, 1864-65
Lauderdale Springs General Hospital, 1862- 63,
Way and Yandell Hospitals (Meridian), 1865
St. Mary's Hospital (West Point), 1864-65
New Mexico
Fort Fillmore, 1861-62
Dona Anna, 1861-62
North Carolina
General Hospital No. 7, 1861-65
Pettigrew Hospital (Raleigh), 1861-65
Military Prison Hospital (Salisbury), 1864-65
General Hospitals No. 4 and 5 (Wilmington) 1862-65
Additional hospitals 1863-65
Charlotte, Fort Fisher, Goldsboro, Greensboro, and Wilson,
 Overton General Hospital, Memphis, TN, 1861-62; 
General Hospitals at Franklin and El Paso, TX, 1862, and Galveston and Houston, TX, 1861-65
General Hospitals No. 1-27, 1861-65
Chimborazo Hospital, 1861-65
 Howard's Grove Hospital, 1862-65
Jackson Hospital, 1861-65
Camp Winder General Hospital, 1861-65
Danville, 1862-65
Orange and Farmville, 1861-65
Petersburg, 1861-65
Williamsburg, 1861-64

Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, accessible answers

1 comment:

  1. This is fascinating. It never would have occurred to me that Confederate hospitals would keep such thorough records of patients, muster rolls, medical staff, and other hospital workers. These are great records to know about. I notice that South Carolina has no records -- I'll be they destroyed theirs. Thanks -- I'm saving the URL to this post!