From William A. Carrington CSR, M331, National Archives
Report No. X
Richmond, October 24th 1862
Surgeon E. S. Gaillard Medl Director
I have the honour to report that I have this day inspected the private Hosl called the Robertson Hosl situated on corner of Main & 3rd Sts (Richmond). It has been occupied as a hosl since July 30th 1861. Having been leased free of rent by its distinguished owner Judge Robertson who had made it his residence for many years. A large yard surrounds it in which are the necessary out houses – The hosl building is an irregularly shaped wooden structure – the main building 3 stories high – In addition to an offices, Dining room kitchen & storeroom there are rooms affording a capacity for about 40 patients – 10-13 only now are in the Hospl.
Surgeon A. Y. P. Garnett also in charge Genl Hosl no 3 is the only Medl officer of the Hosl & visits it daily or more frequently if necessary – The other attendants are one cook & 2 nurses. An Asist Surgeon formerly resided in the Hospital. Some of them I was informed rendered services gratuitously. I found order & neatness in every part of the Hosl which is supervised in rotation by the ladies who have it under charge – one or two being on duty every day. They exhibited a neat & accurate register showing that 539 patients had been admitted to date. According to the table exhibited prepared by the Surg Genl. To Sept 17th 1862 of 550 admitted – 44 had been furloughed, 57 Discharged & 46 Died.
This is not a military Hosl in that there is no guards but little restraint exercised over the men; the house is not filled up with similar furniture to the Genl Hosls; having still much of the furniture of the owner's in use – the food is of a better material than in the large Hosls being prepared and under the supervision of experienced ladies who consider the patients their guests. There is an absence of all that would remind the patient that he beds in "an institution" & many things to make him feel that he is an individual cared for at home – This is an institution similar in origin & intent to other hosls previously inspected & reported – they originated to give form & consolidation to the private exhibitions of patriotism from the noncombatants of our city – when thousands wounded were brought in in one day they filled their post of usefulness and honour; but now the regularly organized institutions are more than sufficient for the demand upon them – they all have a surgical staff & attendants sufficient for their capacity & the government alone is able to provide for all the ordinary & extraordinary demand upon it – In previous reports on other private Hospls I stated other reasons why it would be better for the patients & for the service that this change be made, & in addition I will remark the great additional clerical labor in Reports acquisitions invoices – orders – rations – of property & provision.
Monthly abstracts – muster rolls & payrolls &c &c &c for these Hospitals at the Surgeon Generals office – the Medical Directors Medical Purveyor's – Commissary – Q. M.s – paymasters - &c &c – In view of these things I recommend (1) that the patients now in these Hosls be removed to Genl Hosl No. 3 which in order neatness & discipline will compare favorably with this or any other Hosl; (2) that the support in Rations & Medl supplies be withdrawn; (3) that the managers who deserve honour & commendation as among the heroines of the war be requested to such among our many wards (hitherto secluded from their presence) fields where their ministrations may be productive of greater usefulness.
Your Obt Servant,
Wm. A. Carrington
Surgeon & Inspector of Hospls