When opposing forces met at Bull Run, Virginia in July 1861, no doctors or hospitals were waiting to tend to the one thousand men who had been injured. Civilians and local officials criticized the Union Army's poor treatment of the wounded and called for a system that would ease the suffering of the soldiers.

Caring for the Wounded in Our Nation's Capital

Federal General Hospitals
The title of United States Army General Hospital applied to facilities where soldiers from any military unit, unlike Division or Corps Hospitals.

Image: Harewood Hospital
Washington DC

From 1861 through 1865, General Hospitals treated more than one million soldiers with a mortality rate of only eight percent, the lowest ever recorded for military hospitals and better than many civilian facilities. Washington's sixteen General Hospitals comprised nearly 30,000 …Read More...

Largest Military Hospital in the World

Image: Chimborazo Hospital in Richmond, Virginia
A man with a crutch looks out upon the long white buildings of Chimborazo Hospital on the hill above in a photograph taken just after the city had fallen to Union forces in April 1865.

Chimborazo Hospital in Richmond, Virginia essentially functioned as a village, complete with bathhouse, soap factory, morgues, and a bakery. Phoebe Yates Pember was one of the first women to serve …Read More...

Union Military Hospital in Washington, DC

Armory Square Hospital had twelve pavilions and overflow tents containing one thousand hospital beds filled with wounded from the battlefields of Virginia. The wounded were brought to the nearby wharves in southwest Washington and then taken to the Hospital. It was one of the largest Civil War hospitals in the area and one of many medical facilities located in downtown Washington, DC.

Image: Chapel and buildings at Armory Square
Completed U.S. Capitol in …