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The Civil War Years: 1864-1866

Since the beginning City Hospital had accepted furloughed soldiers as patients. In May of 1864, Saint Mary's Hospital and the City hospital were alerted that 300 casualties were on their way. Three hundred seventy-five patients arrived by train on June 7, sixty of whom were destined for City Hospital. These were the first of 448 soldier patients that the Hospital would receive over the next twelve months. Many of these patients came from Grant's bloody Virginia Campaign to capture Richmond.

The influx of wounded soldiers brought Federal funding for their care. At this time the city was paying $1.25 a week per civilian patient while the Hospital was reimbursed $5.50 per week for each soldier. In 1865 Federal monies accounted for about 75% of the Hospital's income. After the war the funds dropped off markedly and by 1870 had ceased. During the period 1866 to 1871 soldier care accounted for one-fifth of the Hospital's budget.

The Civil War had other effects upon the Hospital and medicine in general. The battlefields provided a training ground for the second generation of medical men to be appointed to the hospital's staff. Medicine and surgery were still archaic by the standards that would develop over the next 20 years. The knowledge and experience the doctors received was invaluable.

 

For more information on this interesting period of the hospital's history, check out the online exhibit titled Civil War Medicine and the Rochester City Hospital.