Union Hospitals in Alexandria: Index

This resource, compiled by staff and volunteers at the Alexandria Archaeology Museum, includes historical information on Alexandria's Civil War hospitals and rest camps, first-person accounts, historic images, Quartermaster maps, and images of the sites today.

Page updated on Oct 16, 2018 at 8:15 PM

Civil War Hospitals Map (small)Union Hospitals in Alexandria, Virginia

The Union Army occupied Alexandria from the first days of the Civil War to the last. They used the town as a base for supplies, troop transfer, and other logistics, as well as to protect Washington, DC. Alexandria also became an important center for care of the wounded and sick. By the end of the war, more than 30 military hospitals were located in Alexandria, with 6,500 beds.

Churches, homes, the city’s largest hotel, and other buildings were taken over as medical facilities. A Quaker Meetinghouse, a girls’ seminary, a home belonging to the family of Robert E. Lee – all accommodated wounded and diseased patients. Elsewhere, hospital complexes extending over city blocks were built based on plans drawn up by the Quartermaster-General in Washington. Their main features were long, ventilated barracks (usually made of wood) in which patients could be divided into wards.  


Tour the Hospital Sites: an Interactive Map

Hospital Tour Map (GIS)

Tour the Hospital Sites with an interactive map. The 23 hospitals located in Old Town Alexandria are shown on this GIS Story Map. Visit this link on your Smart Phone and explore these sites as you walk or bike around Alexandria, or print the Walking Tour Brochure  and bring it with you.


The Union Hospitals

For each hospital, read a short history, view historic photos and Quartermaster Maps, and learn about the site today.

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Battery H Hospital, at 907 Pendleton Street from 1863-1865, included a wooden building with hospital tents behind it. The men of Battery H served provost duty under General Slough.

 


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Battery Rodgers Hospital, located at the corner of S. Fairfax and Franklin Streets, was part of a large complex built to protect the Potomac River approaches to Washington. The fort also had two barracks, a prison, a mess hall, and a slaughterhouse.   


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Camp Convalescent, near Shuter's Hill, was set up to house men not well enough to rejoin their regiments but not ill or wounded enough to take up a hospital bed. Known as Camp Misery, the poorly maintained camp was replaced in February 1863 with a new hospital camp outside of Alexandria. 


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Two residences at 321-323 S. Washington Street were used as a hospital for Contrabands -- former slaves who made their way to freedom in Union territory. 


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Downtown Baptist Church, at 212 S. Washington Street, was confiscated for use as a hospital in 1862. Read a first-person account from head nurse Clarissa Jones.


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Before Fairfax Street Hospital opened in 1861, the large double house was used as a girls' school. 


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The Fowle Hospital was located in large home at 811 Prince Street. Fowle, a Confederate sympathizer, sued for the return of his home, but died before what was ultimately a successful court decision.  


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Quaker Meeting House, at 600 Wolfe Street, was used as a hospital for the First Division.

   


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Grace Church General Hospital, at 207-209 S. Patrick Street, was established in 1862, just two years after the Episcopal church's consecration. At first treating only white soldiers, it became a hospital for black soldiers in 1864.


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Grosvenor Hospital was located at 414 N. Washington Street. The first blood transfusion in North America was performed at the Grosvenor Branch, which occupied the nearby Lee-Fendall house.

 


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Kalorama Hospital was among a cluster of military buildings on the 1400 block of Wilkes Street. The location is now a part of the Douglas Cemetery.


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King Street Hospital occupied three brick commercial buildings at 200-204 King Street. Prior to the War, these buildings were used for shops and banks. 


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L'Ouverture Hospital, on the block bounded by Prince, Duke, Payne and West Streets, was built for African American troops and contraband civilians. 

 


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The Lyceum, at 201 S. Washington Street, was built as library and meeting hall in 1839, and is now a City museum. During the war, the Lyceum Hall held 80 beds, and served as a ward of the nearby Downtown Baptist Church General Hospital.  

 


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Mansion House Hospital, at 121 N. Fairfax Street, was the largest of the confiscated buildings used as a military hospital in Alexandria, utilizing the former Green’s Hotel. The old, vacant hotel was torn down in the 1970s to restore the historic Carlyle House as a museum and park. 


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The McVeigh Hospital, at Cameron and St. Asaph Streets, occupied the home of a wealthy Alexandria businessman. McVeigh was tried in absentia for secessionist activities.


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New Hallowell Hospital, at 215 N. Washington Street, was a hospital for officers. It occupied the home of noted Quaker educator Benjamin Hallowell. 


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Old Hallowell Hospital, on the west side of the 200 Block of N. Washington Street, formerly used as a school by educator Benjamin Hallowell.


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Prince Street Hospital, 806 Prince Street, was a private residence before the war. In 1884 became the hall of the Robert E. Lee Camp of Confederate Veterans, and it is now a museum.


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Queen Street Hospital, at 603 Queen Street, was formerly the Bellhaven Female Institute. Today, it is the Anchorage House Condominiums.


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Second Presbyterian Church, at the NW Corner Prince and St. Asaph Streets, was confiscated for use as a hospital for the Provost Guard, forerunners to the U.S. Military Police. 


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Sickel General Hospital was built on the block bounded by Pendleton, Oronoco, S. Payne and S. West Streets. The hospital complex included approximately 24 wood frame structures, ward tents, surgeon’s headquarters, 13 wooden wards, sutler’s building, wash house, dead house,  and two sinks (privies).


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Slough General Hospital, on Duke Street west of Hooff's Run, was built as a barracks for garrison troops. It became a hospital in 1864, and was the last to close.


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Soldiers Rest, on Duke near West Street, was built near the Orange and Alexandria Rail Road Depot to provide a rest for soldiers traveling through Alexandria by train. The complex was used as a hospital in 1864.


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Tuscan Villa, a large private residence at 500-502 Wolfe Street, was confiscated for use as a branch of the Wolfe Street Hospital.  


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Washington Hall, at 622 626 King Street, was built as a meeting hall, and became a branch of the Second Division General Hospital. 

  


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Washington Street Methodist Church, at 115 S. Washington Street, was occupied because of the congregation’s Southern sympathies. The upstairs sanctuary became a hospital and the first floor became a stable.  


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Wolfe Street General Hospital, at 510 Wolfe Street, was first used as a residence or office by Gen. John Slough, Alexandria’s military governor, and then as a hospital with 100 beds. 


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