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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Hopewell, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Women At City Point

 
 
Women at City Point CWT Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, May 31, 2009
1. Women at City Point CWT Marker
Inscription.  
“It was a nervous place for a woman; but I endured it, rahter feeling a kind of enthusiasm in the nearness to danger and death.” - Sarah Palmer, Ninth Corps Hospital Nurse

Women decided to come to City Point for as many different reasons as men enlisted in the army. Some came for the excitement of a military encampment. Some came to accompany or assist family members in some way. And some came because they truly believed that their presence at City Point would advance the Union cause.

Women's greatest contribution to life at City Point was their care of the sick and wounded soldiers. Even on quiet days, when no fighting occurred, daily chores occupied caregivers from morning until night. There were always patients in the wards, men who had to be fed, washed and provided with clean dressings, clothing, and linens several times a day. Nurses also spent time comforting the dying and reading and writing letters home for soldiers unable to do so for themselves. African American women performed much of the hard physical labor in the hospitals – cooking, cleaning, and laundry – for far less
Bank Street & Prince Henry Avenue (facing north). image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, May 31, 2009
2. Bank Street & Prince Henry Avenue (facing north).
pay and recognition than white women received.

Not all women at City Point toiled in the wards or endured the hardships of camp life. Officers' wives maintained the social routines they had at home, even employing servants to maintain their residences and mind their children. A large part of City Point's wartime social scene was entertaining the many dignitaries who traveled to City Point, including President Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln.

(sidebar)
Mary Todd Lincoln accompanied the President to City Point in March, 1864. Two days after they arrived the First Family attended a grand review. The President rode on horseback, but Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Grant followed in a half-open carriage. Having sustained a blow on her head from a sudden jolt caused by poor road conditions, she suffered from a severe headache. The review had already started when Mrs. Lincoln's party arrived and the President's wife learned that Mrs. Ord, wife of the Major general and a young, attractive woman, had ridden beside Mr. Lincoln during the troop review. Jealousy and her injury conspired to make Mrs. Lincoln go berserk and with difficulty she was restrained from jumping out of the carriage. When Mrs. Ord approached the carriage to pay her respects to Mrs. Lincoln, a flood of insulting language was loosened on her. Throughout the day, Mrs. Lincoln berated her husband and
Bank Street & Prince Henry Avenue (facing west). image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, May 31, 2009
3. Bank Street & Prince Henry Avenue (facing west).
Lincoln, his eyes filled with pain, tried to quiet her, calling her “Mother” and speaking gently.
 
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: War, US CivilWomen. In addition, it is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails series list.
 
Location. This marker has been replaced by another marker nearby. It was located near 37° 18.86′ N, 77° 16.443′ W. Marker was in Hopewell, Virginia. Marker was at the intersection of Bank Street and Prince Henry Avenue, on the left when traveling west on Bank Street. Touch for map. Marker was in this post office area: Hopewell VA 23860, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this location. A different marker also named Women At City Point (here, next to this marker); City Point's Wiseman Family (within shouting distance of this marker); Taverns (within shouting distance of this marker); Housing Several Thousand Federal Troops (within shouting distance of this marker); One Soldier, One Family, One War (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Dr. Peter Eppes House (about 500 feet away); Quartermaster Repair Shops (about 600 feet away); Historic City Point (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hopewell.
 
More about this marker. On the upper left is a photo with the caption, "Appomattox Manor was occupied by Brigadier General Rufus Ingalls, the chief quartermaster on Grant's Staff. Operating through a bevy of assistants, it was Ingall's responsibility to provide transportation and housing for the men and animals. Ingalls and an unknown group of friends, possibly visiting civilians and officers' families, pose in the spring of 1865 on the east wing steps of the manor."

On the upper center is a photo of City Point visitors. The caption reads, "Because of the relative stability and comfort of the winter encampment in 1864 and 1865, civilians including the families of officers, arrived at City Point by ship."

On the upper right is a photo of Mary Todd Lincoln.

On the lower center is a photo of General Grant and family members taken at City Point. The caption reads, "For General Grant the most pleasurable visits were those of his wife and children. Julia Grant liked to spend the winter months with her husband, and about Christmas she arrived at City Point with her youngest, six-year-old Jesse. Mother and son spent the remaining months of the campaign at headquarters, sharing the back room of the General's cabin."
 
Related marker.
City Point, Virginia. Rufus Ingalls and group. image. Click for full size.
May 1865
4. City Point, Virginia. Rufus Ingalls and group.
Library of Congress [LC-B817- 7524]
Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. This marker has been replaced by the linked marker.
 
Mary Todd Lincoln image. Click for full size.
circa 1861
5. Mary Todd Lincoln
Libtary of Congress [LC-DIG-ppmsca-19221]
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 9, 2020. It was originally submitted on June 4, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,036 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on June 4, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.   4, 5. submitted on June 5, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.
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Aug. 12, 2020