* OFFICIAL *
Regtl. Staff Chickamauga 2018
- Mar 15, 2013
William A Curtis, 2nd NC Cavalry, describing facilities at Camp Winder Hospital said: .....there was a little branch, and near it a Bath House for the use of the soldiers.
Chief Surgeon Alexander Lane, who served as the commander of the Winder Hospital throughout the war, described it as follows:
"It consisted of six divisions . . . with its appropriate dispensary, laundry, kitchens and corps of matrons, nurses and attendants, the whole surrounded by a guard of 125 men under a commissioned captain. Attached to the hospital were steamplunge and shower baths....
Of Winder Hospital, William A. Carrington, the Confederate States Medical Director and Inspector of Hospitals said that it covered 125 acres, had a capacity of almost 5,000 patients, and consisted of six divisions. Its facilities included "the most approved Russian, steam, plunge, and shower baths," water closets, a bakery, an ice house, a sixteen-acre hospital garden worked by convalescents, and sixty-nine cows. http://lib.usm.edu/spcol/collections/manuscripts/finding_aids/m217
Winder Hospital was joined to Jackson Hospital by present day Allen Avenue (then a military road.) The bathing facilities were shared between the two hospitals.
Apparently the hospitals - with 10,000 patients and all these bathing facilities - required a "Bath Master" And it must have been considered very important work as it required a Special Order dated March 24, 1865......even though it seems that Pvt. T. K. O'Kelley (Co F, 16th Georgia Infantry) had been serving as the "Bath Master" since at least July 1, 1864. In case you can't read the second card, it says:
Attached to Hospital July 1, 1864. How employed: Bath Master.
Remarks: "Detailed by Gen. Lee Returned to duty Oct 7. 1 month and 7 days extra pay due."
So there you have it. Obviously bathing was important enough to have a special "engineer" detailed to the duty. And I feel certain T K O'Kelley was happy to oblige since he was unlikely to be shot at by the enemy while serving in that capacity.
*Post-war photograph of one of the Winder Hospital wards, then used as a residence. Note: this ward building (as well as several others) are believed to still be used as residences today. This particular photograph is believed to be 1912 Powhatan street.