Grosvenor Hospital: First Person Accounts

Grosvenor Hospital First Person Accounts include letters from a soldier and a surgeon, and a 1960 article from the Washington Post when the building was to be demolished.

Page updated on Mar 8, 2020 at 1:26 PM

Grosvenor Hospital

Michigan Soldier George Washington Bellows

George Washington Bellows, a member of the Third Michigan Infantry, wrote this not long after he arrived in Alexandria in February, 1864. Bellows was admitted with an "intermittent fever" (malaria) and treated with cathartics and quinine sulfate. He was transferred to Fairfax Seminary Hospital at the end of March, after two to three weeks in Grosvenor Hospital. (Men of the 3rd Michigan Infantry: The Life Stories of the 1,411 Soldiers who Served in the 3rd Michigan Infantry Between April of 1861 and June of 1864. Third Michigan Blogspot, posted  by Steve Soper, August 19, 2007.)

…while our Regt was at or near Alexandria, Va., through hardship and exposure I again took a violent cold which seemed to settle on my lungs and in fact over my whole body. I was sent to the Grosvenor Hospital in Alexandria.

Surgeon Edwin Bentley

From a copy of a handwritten memo dated April 21, 1875. (Alexandria Library, Special Collections, Vertical files.)

Bentley, Edwin Surg. U.S. Vols. 3rd Div Gen. Hospital Alexandria informed that his application for the rebel house opposite Grosvenor Hospital has been referred to Brg. Gen. Slough endorsed, authority granted to take possession of the within named house for use as a general hospital 

Washington Post, June 5, 1960

This article appeared in the Washington Post before the demolition of the home that served as Grosvenor Hospital.

An Alexandria home that served as a hospital for Union occupation troops during the Civil War will be razed, beginning Monday, to make room for an office building.

Collectors are expected to descend on the Grosvenor House at 414 North Washington Street today to begin [bid?] on English brick, imported bubble glass, hand-hewn beams, ornate chandeliers, and wrought-iron work.

The home was built around 1830 by an English builder, according to Paul Toren, who is in charge of the piecemeal demolition. The family of the late Dr. Clarence Leadbeater has occupied the house for the last 55 years.

The physician also operated an apothecary shop in Alexandria that is now maintained as a museum by the District Pharmaceutical Society.

The 4-story, 20-room home was commandeered during the Civil War and was operated as a 160-bed hospital, Toren declared on the basis of research at the Library of Congress.

The home-hospital was photographed by Matthew Brady, famed for his Civil War pictures
Mrs. Leadbeater is moving to a nearby apartment.