Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Lowest Rate Of Mortality

Located in Richmond, Virginia, the Robertson Hospital treated wounded soldiers from the First Battle of Manassas until the last soldier was discharged June 13th 1865.

The Robertson Hospital was a small private hospital located in Judge John Roberts donated home and was financially supported by the Confederate government.  The hospital was run by Captain Sally Louisa Tompkins; she was the only women to have a commission from the Confederate government.

Sally Louisa Tompkins was born November 9th 1833 in Poplar Grove, Mathews County, Virginia the daughter of Christopher and Maria (Patterson) Tompkins.  She took an active role in restoring her neighborhood Episcopal Church, and nursed many locals, both black and white as a young woman.  After her father died, Tompkins and her mother moved to Richmond, Virginia.

After the First Battle of Manassas on July 21st 1861 the Confederate capital wasn’t ready for the hundreds of wounded soldiers who arrived there.  Tompkins responded to this influx by opening the home of Judge John Robertson as a hospital.  Once the first rush of wounded had passed Confederate President Jefferson Davis had military hospitals set up, but the Robertson Hospital had done such a good job that Tompkins was given a military commission so she could continue to work.  The Hospital treated 1,333 wounded during the four years of the war with only 73 deaths reported.  It had the lowest mortality rate of any military hospital during the Civil War.  The last of these patients was discharged on June 13th 1865.

Following the war Tompkins continued to serve in charitable work.  She never married and eventually she lived in the Richmond Home for Confederate Women in 1905.  She died July 26th 1916 and was buried with full military honors at the Christ Church in Mathews County, Virginia.

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