Cumberland in Allegany County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Allegany County Academy
Civil War Hospital
During the Civil War, enormous numbers of sick and wounded soldiers overwhelmed both medical science and available hospitals. Approximately fifteen buildings in Cumberland were pressed into service to care for the maimed and ill. Besides warehouses, barns, and hotels, the courthouse across the street and the building in front of you—then the Allegany County Academy—were used as hospitals. The school and the courthouse together provided 1,200 cubic feet of fresh air and spaciousness, believed helpful for convalescence, because or their numerous windows and large floor areas. Sixty-five patients occupied the school building.
In March 1862, Dr. William A. Hammond, who was appointed Surgeon General of the United States the next month, conducted a review of the hospitals in Cumberland and Clarysville. His report was generally scornful of the overall hospital complex, condemning the "ignorance of sanitary science," finding some facilities "dark and stinking," and complaining about the "utmost confusion" that dominated hospital administration. On his recommendation, the Academy and courthouse were retained as hospitals.
On January 15, 1799, the Maryland General Assembly passed an act "to incorporate a school in Allegany County," which became the Allegany County Academy. The Greek Revival-style building was constructed in 1849-1850 to house the academy and served as a school until it was closed in 1929. It became a public library in June 1934.
Erected by Maryland Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Education • Science & Medicine • War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Maryland Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical date for this entry is January 15, 1799.
Location. 39° 39.074′ N, 78° 45.994′ W. Marker is in Cumberland, Maryland, in Allegany County. Marker is at the intersection of Washington Street and Prospect Square, on the right when traveling west on Washington Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 33 Washington Street, Cumberland MD 21502, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Cumberland (here, next to this marker); The Parade Ground of Fort Cumberland (a few Gov. Lloyd Lowndes 1845 - 1905 (a few steps from this marker); Allegany County Library (within shouting distance of this marker); President Washington's Last Visit - 1794 (within shouting distance of this marker); The Fort Proper (within shouting distance of this marker); Famous Personalities at Fort Cumberland (within shouting distance of this marker); Allegany County (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cumberland.
Credits. This page was last revised on January 12, 2021. It was originally submitted on September 6, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 196 times since then and 25 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on September 6, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. 3, 4, 5. submitted on January 11, 2021, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.