Plan for Rhode Island Civil War Hospital

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Plan for Rhode Island Civil War Hospital


Image of the plan for the Rhode Island Civil War Hospital, 1862. Lovell General Hospital, Portsmouth Grove. Original sketch of Grounds.

On May 19, 1862, Surgeon General of the United States made application of Governor William Sprague for establishment of hospital for the sick & wounded Rhode Island soldiers. Hospital authorized by resolution of the Rhode Island General assembly (#1), approved May 28, 1862 "That the Governor is hereby authorized to provide, at the expense of the State, suitable hospital accommodations within this State, for such sick, wounded or disabled soldiers, discharged from the service of the United State and belonging to this State as are not otherwise provided by the government of the United States".

Marine Hospital located in Providence was initially leased for that purpose receiving Rhode Island men then in hospitals located in Washington & elsewhere. In the latter part of June of that year a more permanent facility was established by the United States government at Portsmouth Grove, RI & designated Lovell General Hospital. Orders issued August 18, directed the transfer of patients to that facility & a company of Hospital Guards was organized & detailed to grounds to preserve order & act as a military police. For the remainder of the war thousands of wounded or disabled Union Army soldiers were transported by ship to Rhode Island from battlefields or overcrowded Union Army medical facilities until the hospital was officially closed on August 25, 1865. With no further use for the facility after the war the government auctioned off the existing buildings & furnishings and the land was sold for private development. In May 1868, the bodies of the 308 men interred upon what remained of the hospital grounds were removed to Cyprus Hill Cemetery at Brooklyn, NY.

See also:

Rhode Island State Archives Resources

A Battle Hard Fought - Rhode Island and the Civil War: A Sesquicentennial Observance

Civil War – Commission to Preserve the Military Records of the State

Military Records - Civil War

Civil War Recruitment Book (1861)

Board of Military Enrollment

Adjutant General - Orders Received, Executive Department (1857 - 1858;1861; 1863)

Civil War - Record Book, Orders received, First Detached Militia / Tenth Rhode Island Volunteers (1861 - 1862)

Rhode Island Militia - Enrolled Men, Town Returns (1843 - 1898)

Additional Resources

National Archives Civil War Photographs

National Archives Civil War Records

National Archives The Civil War as Photographed by Mathew Brady

Library of Congress US Civil War: Selected Resources



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"Plan for Rhode Island Civil War Hospital," in Virtual Exhibits, Item #687, (accessed January 19, 2019).