The Baby At The Military Hospital

NH Civil War Gal

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Feb 5, 2017
Poor Phoebe Pember is all I can say.....

Phoebe Pember served a hospital matron in one of the wards of Chimborazo Hospital, which was one of the largest medical facilities in Richmond, Virginia. After the war, she wrote a memoir about her experiences at this Confederate hospital, and the following excerpt is a unique blend of women’s history and healthcare in a military hospital setting.


Phoebe Pember

Mrs. Pember faced many challenges and difficulties in her administrative role at Chimborazo, but the conflict with one particular visiting family is one of the more amusing incidents in the record. Her descriptions are unparalleled, so here is the incident in her own words:

One sultry day I found a whole family accompanied by two young lady friends seated around a wounded man’s bed; as I passed through six hours later, they held the same position.

“Had not you all better go home?” I said good-naturedly.

“We came to see my cousin,” answered one very crossly. “He is wounded.”

“But you have been with him all morning, and that is a restraint upon the other men. Come again to-morrow.”

A consultation was held, but when it ceased no movement was made, the older ones only lighting their pipes and smoking in silence.
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