Information about Winder Hospital in Richmond, VA during the Civil War.
This vast hospital complex was constructed shortly after the outbreak of the War at what was then called "western terminus of Cary Street." It was on land now east of the present municipal-owned William Byrd Park (which was then the training grounds known as Camp Jackson) with an annex in the park area to the south of the present Fountain lake and to the east of the Reservoir. The hospital's boundaries are the present city streets of Winder, Amelia, and Hampton Streets, and Allen Avenue. To the north of Winder Hospital was Jackson Hospital with which it shared some of its activities.
It was referred to as "The largest hospital in the Confederacy," by the Richmond Whig on June 15, 1864 (1864-06-15, Richmond Whig; Account of editorial visit to Winder Hospital)
Winder Hospital opened with a capacity in excess of 3000 and quickly expanded to 4300. Originally divided into five divisions, a sixth was added plus a tent division for an additional 700 patients. It had 98 buildings.
Winder Hospital had numerous natural springs, deep wells, a large library, a central register of patients, an information house, cook-houses, bakeries, food-processing facilities, employee barracks, treatment and surgical buildings, and warehouses. It had 125 acres of farmland used for growing supplies, recreational facilities, and bathhouses, etc. It provided regular transportation service to downtown and operated river and canal boats.
Winder Hospital was named for General John Henry Winder who was appointed June 21, 1861 as Provost Marshal and commander of prisons in Richmond. Dr. Alexander G. Lane was the surgeon-in-charge.
A fire on January 21, 1864 destroyed the 2nd Division with a loss of $50,000 but with no injuries or deaths. The hospital maintained its own well-equipped fire brigade.
A volunteer force made up of attendants and patients under Lt. Col. A. S. Cunningham served actively a the Battle of North Anna. Later a battalion was formed with Jackson Hospital under the Command of Dr. Major Chambliss that saw active duty in the battles of 1865. A company of Negro soldiers was formed in February 1865 under Captain Grimes, which saw active service with those from Jackson.
Winder Hospital was used with Camp Jackson by Federal occupation forces as a hospital and encampment area. It was called Camp Grant. The Western annex was used as the headquarters and encampment for XXIVth Army Corps.
Numerous of the former ward buildings are still standing in the area and have been converted into homes, particularly on Powhatan Street.
From Confederate Military Hospitals in Richmond by Robert W. Waitt, Jr., Official Publication #22 Richmond Civil War Centennial committee, Richmond, Virginia 1964.