“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Fredericksburg, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

A Vast Hospital

Fredericksburg: Timeless.

A Vast Hospital Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones, April 12, 2020
1. A Vast Hospital Marker
During the December 13, 1862 battle, thousands of wounded Union soldiers were crowded into Fredericksburg's houses and churches, including the Presbyterian Church across the street from you. During that period, Clara Barton, the future founder of the American Red Cross, tended to patients in this area. Most of the wounded soldiers were evacuated to hospitals in Washington D.C. Those who died were buried in shallow graves.

In May 1864, ambulances again carried suffering soldiers through the town's streets. Virtually every public building became a hospital, filled with wounded soldiers from the battles of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania Court House. Again, those who could be evacuated were transferred to Northern hospitals. Those who died were left behind. Many remain, removed from their temporary graves after the war and reinterred in a National Cemetery.

[Aside and captions:]
During May and June 1864, hundreds of the wounded men brought to Fredericksburg died here. The burials shown here occurred on what was then the edge of town, between Prince Edward and Winchester Streets. Note the presence of
A Vast Hospital Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones, April 12, 2020
2. A Vast Hospital Marker
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African American grave diggers. Former slaves employed by the Federal government were often called Contrabands, which was a play on their former status on property. Contrabands found work in the army as teamsters, laborers, cooks, and servants.

Wounded soldiers were transferred as soon as possible to better hospitals farther north, but the journey required several modes of travel, including ferries (as seen here), railways and wagons to Aquia Landing, and larger vessels to Washington D.C.

The National Cemetery established in Fredericksburg contains 15,243 burials from the Civil War, most of them recovered from the surrounding battlefields and most of them unknown. Only 2,473 buried soldiers are identified.

Wounded Union soldiers in a Fredericksburg yard, May 1864. This building is still standing, adapted to use as an office.

Erected by Fredericksburg Economic Development and Tourism Office.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansCemeteries & Burial SitesChurches & ReligionScience & MedicineWar, US CivilWomen. In addition, it is included in the Clara Barton, the National Cemeteries, and the Virginia, Fredericksburg: Timeless. series lists. A significant historical month for this entry is May 1864.
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38° 18.132′ N, 77° 27.59′ W. Marker is in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Princess Anne Street (Business U.S. 17) and George Street, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 817 Princess Anne St, Fredericksburg VA 22401, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Court House (here, next to this marker); A Sacked and Gutted Town (here, next to this marker); War Comes to Fredericksburg (here, next to this marker); Gen. Stonewall Jackson (a few steps from this marker); 1910 (a few steps from this marker); In Memory of Clara Barton (within shouting distance of this marker); Corporation Court House (within shouting distance of this marker); National Bank of Fredericksburg (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fredericksburg.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. This marker has replaced the linked marker.
Credits. This page was last revised on April 21, 2020. It was originally submitted on April 12, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 136 times since then and 37 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 12, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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Oct. 7, 2022