Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Confederate Hospital Records: Defy the Myths

Reveal Confederate Ancestors Though Hospital Records
Don't believe the Hype, you can find confederate records of white and black ancestors, Free and the Enslaved. Matter of fact, they are quite revealing. If we turn to Confederate hospital records, they reveal where your confederate served, they offer duties and payroll for those in the war efforts. In addition to proving one's loyalty to the Confederacy, these records also proffer information on slaveholders, as well as slaves and free-coloreds, as these records provided a financial account. 

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.

Griffin Ga, 12 Jul 1864
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.

African American Confederate Ancestors
Unlike the 1840 and 1850 Slave Schedules, these records named slaves with their specific slaveholders due to the fact that any working slave gained financial gain for slaveholders through their war-work contributions.  
As for vocabulary on these records, know that muster rolls were personnel lists and records to include the wage amounts.
Named enslaved laborers worked at Ashley Ferry Nitro Works in South Carolina.
(National Archives Identifier 121637367)

Fold3: Confederate African American, Civil War

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
CSA Hospitals
A listing of eleven 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

Chimborazo Hospital, 1861-65
General Hospitals No. 1-27, 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
Be Historically Correct
Accurate Accessible Answers
Original Post: 10 Feb 2013; Rewritten & Revised post 2 Oct 2023    

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