Grace Church General Hospital

Grace Church General Hospital at first treated only white soldiers, and became a hospital for black soldiers after November 30, 1864.

Page updated on Mar 8, 2020 at 1:56 PM
Grace Church Hospital (Smith Collection)Image 1: Civil War era image of Grace Church Hospital. (William Francis Smith Collection, Alexandria Library Special Collections.)
Grace Episcopal Church HospitalImage 2: Grace Church Hospital. (The Photographic History of the Civil War in Ten Volumes.)
Grace, Prince Street, Lyceum on Bird's Eye ViewImage 3: Grace Church Hospital, shown along with other hospitals on a section of Magnus'  Birdseye View of Alexandria, Va(Library of Congress.) 
Grace Episcopal Church, Quartermaster MapQuartermaster Map showing Grace Church General Hospital.
Grace Church Hospital TodayGrace Church Hospital today, now used as condominiums.
  Civil War Hospitals Map: Grace Church

History of Grace Church General Hospital

207-209 S. Patrick Street

Grace Church was consecrated in 1860, as a new congregation formed when two existing Episcopalian churches joined together. The new church was seized in June 1862 for use as a hospital. It was used as a hospital for the Second Division beginning in September 1862.

Grace Church Hospital treated only white soldiers until November 30, 1864, when the white soldiers were transferred to Sickel Barracks General Hospital and 43 black soldiers were admitted. When the hospital closed, the remaining patients were sent to L’Ouverture Hospital. According to the records, most African American troops were admitted on three dates: November 30 and December 6, 1864, and March 6, 1865, suggesting large numbers arrived on transports from elsewhere. Grace Church Hospital closed April 29, 1865.

A list of African American patients treated at Grace Church Hospital can be found in African American and American Indian Patients in Grace Church Branch, Second Division Hospital, November 30, 1864 to April 29, 1865.

First Person Accounts

William Wallace was a member of the 3rd U.S. Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry injured at the Battle of Cedar Run. He wrote three letters to his wife, on August 15, August 22 and September 1, 1862, from Grace Church Hospital. Wallace was then transferred to Camp Convalescent, so other patients could take his place at Grace Church. His letters to his wife, Sara, depict miserable conditions and his own worsening state of health.

Source: “William Wallace's Civil War letters: the Virginia campaign" Wisconsin Magazine of History. Volume 57, Issue 1, 1973-1974

Historic Image

Image 1: 

  • Title: Grace Church
  • Image Source: William Francis Smith Collection, Alexandria Library, Special Collections
  • Image Date: 1860s
  • Medium: Tintype photograph
  • Rights Advisory: Obtain permission of Alexandria Library, Special Collections.

Image 2: 

  • Title: Grace Church
  • Image Source: The Photographic History of the Civil War in Ten Volumes. Francis Trevelyan Miller, Editor in Chief, Volume Seven, Prisons and Hospitals. New York, The Review of Reviews Co., 1911. P. 235.
  • Image Date: 1861-1865.
  • Medium: Photograph
  • Rights Advisory: Out of Copyright

Image 3:  

Quartermaster Map

The Quartermaster map shows Grace Church General Hospital along with a kitchen and mess house.  

Location and the Site Today.

The old Church building, at 207-209 S. Patrick Street, is now used as condominiums. Grace Episcopal Church is today located at 3601 Russell Road.