" Yellow Hospital ", Manassas, 12th Pennsylvania Cavalry At The Duncan House 1862

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JPK Huson 1863

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yellow hospital five maybe.jpg

LoC image, part of a series taken by Timothy O'Sullivan in July 1863 has more to offer than it's title " Yellow Hospital ". Officers and troopers of the 12th Pennsylvania Cavalry were stationed in ' Bloom's Grove ', also aka ' The Duncan House ' at the time. That some families were also present was a little weird. Confederate forces overran the position not many weeks later.

yellow long scene.JPG

This photo is probably more well known. Read somewhere the little girl standing with her parents is pointing at a camera's tripod laying in the grass.
yellow little girl.JPG


A series of images by Timothy O'Sullivan has always fascinated me. LoC's title is ' Yellow Hospital, Manassas ', taken July, 1862. We've spotted women at hospitals before, nurses, Sanitary Commission ' agents ', sometimes an officer's wife. Still, seemed odd to see so many women and so many officers- and children. Weirder, in this hospital image women are sporting crinoline. Hoops were discouraged in hospital work, Dix flatly forbade them with reason. Navigating crowded wards, squatting on floors, feeding wounded men in hoops?

It transpires yes, like nearly every building, barn and shed in proximity to battles was a hospital. ' Yellow Hospital ' was one but was also the HQ of the 12th Pennsylvania Cavalry during 1862's bloody arguments in and around Manassas, Virginia. " Bloom's Grove " or " The Duncan House " was referred to as yellow because ( whether paint or plaster ) it was that dull, deep mustard color we sometimes see on old homes. Mustard Hospital sounds awkward.

Cool images. The 12th Pennsylvania Cavalry , " Curtain's Hussars " mustered companies in Philadelphia but included companies from all the way up here in Dauphin. By the time of these photos their battle at Antietam was 2 months in the future and in just a few weeks, August 1862 saw the 12th abandon the Duncan House as Confederate forces swarmed. One story accused the regiment of ' skedaddling ' in the face of the enemy, a serious charge, the genuine story was indignantly circulated. For brevity I won't get into it, here's the story as told by someone who was there.
yellow 12th cav did not skedaddle.JPG


From the same image where we see the little girl, officer receives what looks like a dispatch. IF this is the regiment's commanding officer, Major Titus, he's captured a few weeks later in the engagement above. The 12th Pennsylvania Cavalry had guarding the RR, always a point of conflict. News reports differ from 2019 lists, lost from 1861 through 1865 were 2 officers and 142 enlisted. I can't find POW's or whether Major Titus was exchanged or made it through the war as a POW.

A few questions like why so many wives and children were permitted so close to enemy lines and when did they leave seem important. Some of these scenes are downright peaceful if not idyllic. It makes me wonder if future orders we've seen where ladies in camp were either forbidden or ordered to leave stemmed from these instances where proximity to the enemy plus timing put them in danger.
yellow family group and officers.JPG

One officer seems posed with a wife and two daughters in full ' dress ', i.e. crinolines and light dresses, woman leaning on barrel seems awfully fashionable. It's all so peaceful. Bloom's Grove had already been overrun, when Union forces took it. It may have been one of Johnston's HQ previously.

I'm sorry, loved this detail- that's a very, very long cigar.
yellow cigar.JPG


yellow window officers.JPG

Spent some time trying to track down other officers who were there, trying identify this man and a few others. And it was a hospital, blurred activity by the front door may be connected. There seems to be someone bending over a man or part of an effort carrying him.
yellow wounded.JPG


NO idea whether this is O'Sullivan's wagon, " Photographer at Manassas " is the only ID. Fascinating to think about and boy are we fortunate they he was there.
yellow photo wagon.JPG


yellow major maybe titus.JPG
 
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Robert Gray

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View attachment 312157
LoC image, part of a series taken by Timothy O'Sullivan in July 1863 has more to offer than it's title " Yellow Hospital ". Officers and troopers of the 12th Pennsylvania Cavalry were stationed in ' Bloom's Grove ', also aka ' The Duncan House ' at the time. That some families were also present was a little weird. Confederate forces overran the position not many weeks later.

View attachment 312160
This photo is probably more well known. Read somewhere the little girl standing with her parents is pointing at a camera's tripod laying in the grass.
View attachment 312159

A series of images by Timothy O'Sullivan has always fascinated me. LoC's title is ' Yellow Hospital, Manassas ', taken July, 1862. We've spotted women at hospitals before, nurses, Sanitary Commission ' agents ', sometimes an officer's wife. Still, seemed odd to see so many women and so many officers- and children. Weirder, in this hospital image women are sporting crinoline. Hoops were discouraged in hospital work, Dix flatly forbade them with reason. Navigating crowded wards, squatting on floors, feeding wounded men in hoops?

It transpires yes, like nearly every building, barn and shed in proximity to battles was a hospital. ' Yellow Hospital ' was one but was also the HQ of the 12th Pennsylvania Cavalry during 1862's bloody arguments in and around Manassas, Virginia. " Bloom's Grove " or " The Duncan House " was referred to as yellow because ( whether paint or plaster ) it was that dull, deep mustard color we sometimes see on old homes. Mustard Hospital sounds awkward.

Cool images. The 12th Pennsylvania Cavalry , " Curtain's Hussars " mustered companies in Philadelphia but included companies from all the way up here in Dauphin. By the time of these photos their battle at Antietam was 2 months in the future and in just a few weeks, August 1862 saw the 12th abandon the Duncan House as Confederate forces swarmed. One story accused the regiment of ' skedaddling ' in the face of the enemy, a serious charge, the genuine story was indignantly circulated. For brevity I won't get into it, here's the story as told by someone who was there.
View attachment 312151

From the same image where we see the little girl, officer receives what looks like a dispatch. IF this is the regiment's commanding officer, Major Titus, he's captured a few weeks later in the engagement above. The 12th Pennsylvania Cavalry had guarding the RR, always a point of conflict. News reports differ from 2019 lists, lost from 1861 through 1865 were 2 officers and 142 enlisted. I can't find POW's or whether Major Titus was exchanged or made it through the war as a POW.

A few questions like why so many wives and children were permitted so close to enemy lines and when did they leave seem important. Some of these scenes are downright peaceful if not idyllic. It makes me wonder if future orders we've seen where ladies in camp were either forbidden or ordered to leave stemmed from these instances where proximity to the enemy plus timing put them in danger.
View attachment 312158
One officer seems posed with a wife and two daughters in full ' dress ', i.e. crinolines and light dresses, woman leaning on barrel seems awfully fashionable. It's all so peaceful. Bloom's Grove had already been overrun, when Union forces took it. It may have been one of Johnston's HQ previously.

I'm sorry, loved this detail- that's a very, very long cigar.
View attachment 312153

View attachment 312167
Spent some time trying to track down other officers who were there, trying identify this man and a few others. And it was a hospital, blurred activity by the front door may be connected. There seems to be someone bending over a man or part of an effort carrying him.
View attachment 312168

NO idea whether this is O'Sullivan's wagon, " Photographer at Manassas " is the only ID. Fascinating to think about and boy are we fortunate they he was there.
View attachment 312169

View attachment 312161
Known as the Duncan House, or Bloom's Grove at the time of the Civil War, this stone structure was also dubbed "Yellow Hospital" due to a "yellow ocher" exterior paint in 1862, when it was photographed by Timothy O'Sullivan. At that time it was under Union occupation, serving as headquarters to the 12th Pennsylvania Cavalry, as well as a hospital. The year before it is believed to have been the headquarters of Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston. Today it is known as the Conner House, named for its last 20th century owner.

The structure had nearly fallen to ruin by the 1970's, but was saved by the local Women's Club, recognizing the importance of its preservation. Now owned by the City of Manassas Park, restoration work will continue when funding permits. The house is surrounded now by offices of Prince William County Schools. The physical address is 8220 Conner Drive, Manassas, VA 20111, near Osbourn Park High School.

John F. Cummings III
Spotsylvania Civil War Blog
 

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Annie. What a fascinating collection of archival photographs of the Duncan House's Yellow Hospital in 1862. Thanks for sharing them.
By the way, how did you make out with my friend Jim at Civil War and More in Mechanicsburg? I hope things went well for you. David.
 
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JPK Huson 1863

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Annie. What a fascinating collection of archival photographs of the Duncan House's Yellow Hospital in 1862. Thanks for sharing them.
By the way, how did you make out with my friend Jim at Civil War and More in Mechanicsburg? I hope things went well for you. David.

Haven't gotten to the Burg and it's killing me! It's not like we're far- maybe 25 minutes if no one has tangled things up on 322 coming in. ( remember when poor truckers given no warning got stuck at the RR overpass, before they finally lowered the road? ) It's busy season for we cupcake bakers- everyone on planet Earth is getting married or having babies. First full free day that comes up, getting over the mountain- and thanks again!
 

JPK Huson 1863

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Major Darius Titus (29 August 1807 - 8 April 1875) was honorably discharged April 25, 1864.
View attachment 312285
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/126124056/darius-titus

Drat it. If that's Major Titus, it's not he in the image! I knew it couldn't be that easy. Thanks very much for pulling that up. Photo looks era based on a few things and even were it a tad post war, it wouldn't have been a long enough time for his hair to turn white.

Don't you love mutton chops? Major Titus looks like he should have a British accent.
 

JPK Huson 1863

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The last picture really shows how slow the old cameras were. Note flag and man on horse. The house was still there several years ago.

This is hysterical- you mentioned the blurred horse and then mentioned the house? First read through I thought it said ".. horse was still there ". Startled me.
 
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