Pohlig, Oscar. "Lot 56 of Colonel William Byrd II's Richmond: Its Use for Tobacco Manufacturing under Miles Turpin, WIlliam J., Tilliam T., and A. Rufus Yarbrough; and for a Confederate Military Hospital." 1983. Yarbrough File, Valentine Museum, Richmond. 

Lot 56 of Colonel William Byrd II's Richmond:

Its Use for Tobacco Manufacturing under

Miles Turpin, William J., William T., and A. Rufus Yarbrough;

And for a Confederate Military Hospital


Oscar A. Pohlig, Jr.

Photography - Helen Pohlig

Richmond, Virginia



Opening of the Hospital

In the Confederate military system, each state was responsible for its sick and wounded. Shortly after war began in 1861, the State of Alabama appointed Mrs. Juliet Ann Hopkins, a native of Alabama who had married Arthur Francis Hopkins, a prominent Alabaman, and at the time of their marriage a judge in New York, in charge of the care of the Alabama war casualties in the Richmond area. To help in this work, she recruited many women in Richmond. A Mrs. Fannie A. Beers was one of these. In December of that year Mrs. Hopkins established two "state" hospitals in the Confederate capital, one being Second Alabama Hospital.

When it became necessary to open this facility, also known as the Turpin-Yarbrough Factory Hospital, located in the Turpin-Yarbrough Tobacco Factory, Mrs. Hopkins drafted Mrs. Beers for this specific task: "A large number of sick and wounded Albamans will arrive this morning. I have found a place to put them but someone must be there to prepare for their accommodations, to receive hospital supplies, and direct their arrangement..." On the way to the Turpin-Yarbrough Tobacco Factory at 23th and Franklin Streets, the two ladies stopped to order cots, mattresses, and other supplies from the Medical Purveyors Department. When they arrived, there were about 50 patients already on the scene with the surgeon assigned to the new hospital, Dr. C. J. Clark; and William J. Yarbrough with them. The latter had "given up the keys to Mrs. H(opkins)." That first night four of the sick died. Mrs. Beers gave further evidence that the Confederates had not planned Second Alabama far ahead: after that first day she contracted with carpenters to build rooms, shelving, and other partitions to make the buildings suitable for its new purpose.

Mrs. Hopkins fitted up "two excellent rooms at the end of a long, large wing of the factory, formerly the offices of the owners," for Mrs. Beers; one a bedroom, the other a sitting room and office. Her title was "matron-in-charge," which position she held "for many months" until she became ill and went to her husband's home in Alabama to recover.

The hospital encompassed the entire three stories of the main building and also "a large storage room in the yard." The surgeon's and steward's offices and store rooms occupied the first floor. On the second and third floors were two "immense sick-wards." Besides Mrs. Beers' quarters, the first floor wing along Franklin Street contained kitchen and sleeping apartments for servants, and another ward for any sick military personnel in whom Mrs. Beers had a particular interest, not necessarily Alabamans. It was well the buildings were large, for they filled rapidly with those ill from disease and battle wounds.

The Operation of Second Alabama Hospital

Mrs. Hopkins did not lack for either responsibility or authority in carrying out her mission. Her husband, Judge Hopkins , in a letter to Alabama Governor John G. Shorter in October 1863, wrote that both he and Mrs. Hopkins "understood with you her duty" to "rent(ed) the buildings, hire(d) the servants & ma(k)e the purchases of the provisions, &c for the use of (the three hospitals)."

An inspection of the entries for any month of her record, "Mrs. A. F. Hopkins in Account with the State of Alabama," indicates she provided those goods and services any hospital administrator must for the daily needs of the patients and treatment of their illnesses. In February 1862 she paid Turpin & Yarbrough $330 for rent of their buildings to house Second Alabama; she bought bacon, potatoes, soap, thread, meal, sugar. The bill with the butcher that month totaled $165.64; whiskey cost her almost as much, $158.00. (Evidently each amount was a total for the three hospitals, since it was not otherwise designated.) H. N. Sinclair, Second Alabama's druggist, received his monthly wages of $30.00. As with any Army, coffee was a big expense: $300.00 in July 1862; $1000 in January 1863; $461.00 in June 1863. (Each amount was for the three facilities.)

In many months Mrs. Hopkins did not record any payments to Mrs. Beers. In May 1862 she paid her $100 for services as "Matron, 2nd Alabama Hospital;" and to the hospital's nurse, Susan (no last name given) $12.00. Other nurses at this facility received a total of S31-75. Second Alabama's steward or manager received $50-00. (This expenditure varied from month to mouth.) The same amount went to pay the "laundresses." The outlay for slaves to help staff 2nd Alabama, or "servants hire" as she termed it, varied considerable from mouth to month: $56.00 in May 1862; 482.00 in September 1862; $914.00 in March 1863.

There were one-of-a-kind expenditures: 75¢ for forcep repairs; $10.00 to William J. Yarbrough for a bathtub. In December 1862 Mrs. Hopkins reimbursed Surgeon C. J. Clark $1,000.00 for extra services. That same mouth she incurred two bills for advertising, $10.50 and $3.25. She bought drugs for the three hospitals, mostly small dollar amounts. The October 1862 purchase of $506.54 and the October 1863 of $166.00, both from John T. Gray, were unusually large. I did not find any expenditures of bandages in this record. Evidently, the hospitals depended on the women of Richmond's churches to supply this need.

Among Mrs. Hopkins' other records is a page which contains the following hospital fare, with no indication of date:






Full or Ordinary Diet

Tea Tost (sic)

Tea Coffee

Beef Steak


Bread and butter



Milk Rice

Boiled Beef



Vegitables (sic)


Potatos (sic) Sweet & Irish

Tea Coffee









Rice Soups



Oysters stewed

The hospitals could also count on the citizens of Alabama for a steady stream of bedding, wines, clothing, new and used, "and every delicacy." At 2nd Alabama, William J. Yarbrough and other neighbors frequently brought in food to spice up the hospital fare.

Judge A. F. Hopkins, in his letter to Governor Shorter, referred to earlier, attested to the magnitude of his wife's task of managing the three hospitals: "Mrs. Hopkins ) certainly makes much more judicious expenditures of the fund (from the State of Alabama) than I could and it is a business I never would have undertaken to do." Later Alabama officially recognized with thanks her efforts on behalf of their wounded in Richmond and subsequently in other areas of the Confederacy." Indeed some referred to her as "the Florence Nightingale of the Confederacy."

Her records witness to the hard work she put forth to maintain a sound financial operation: frequent auctions and sales disposed of surplus materials, obtaining needed cash; she secured private contributions which provided a significant part of the hospitals' operating funds, especially in the first year. At the end of October 1862 she summarized the finances for the three hospitals in the following table, from the opening in December 1861:

Recapitulation (for 3 Alabama Hospitals)

Am't. rec'd of Judge A. Hopkins , State Appropriations $16,300.00
Am't. of Private Contributions 11,538.50
Am't. from sale of Rations, Commutation, pay roll, etc. 13,330.45
Am't. of Expenditures 38,195.56
Balance remaining on hand 2,973.39

There is a record in the National Archives labeled "Prescription Book, Alabama, Hospital, 1864-65." This was a daily record, kept week by week, of each of the thirty-five beds in one of the hospital wards. The date of the first entry was December 25, 1864; the last, April 10, 1865. Although this record had no connection with Second Alabama it does indicate the medical resources available to Confederate doctors. These included castile soap, castor oil, turpentine, mush poultices, iodine of mercury to treat syphilis; potassium iodide, sublimate of Nitrate Bismuth-"4 powders, one every 3 hours" for chronic diarrhea; Dovers powders, "one every 3 hours" to reduce temperature; tincture of "camphorated" (sic) opium; morphine; and to perk up the spirits, brandy and whiskey.

The record gave the soldiers name, rank, organization, his injury or illness, and his bed number. As long as he was there, some one, presumably a medical orderly, initialed his record daily, even though no medication was administered. Upon a patient's furlough, return to active duty, discharge, or as was the case in one instance-desertion, another casualty almost invariably filled the space the next day. Battle wounds, "flesh-mini," "amputation," sent many son to this hospital. Others were there from battle related illnesses, dysentery, malaria, "icterus (jaundice), lumbago, gangrene, "intermittent favor," "general dibility," etc. Syphilis affected several. (The film is of poor quality. That combined with the difficulty of deciphering the handwriting left much of the record a mystery.)

In the table on the next page, Mrs. Hopkins set forth the total number of patients served by Second Alabama for the period September 1862 through July 1863. During these eleven months the hospital treated 1,228 patients (199 population at the beginning of September 1862 plus 1,029 admitted.) Of these, 439 "returned to duty;" 271 received furloughs from the hospital. (From her method of accounting, if any of these returned to this hospital they entered again as new patients. Thus Mrs. Hopkins' records probably counted some men twice.) The hospital surgeon, C. J. Clarke, ordered nineteen men discharged from the army for medical reasons. An equal number deserted. There were 81 deaths at Second Alabama during these eleven months.

Among Mrs. Hopkins' papers is a file of ten pages headed "Record of Deaths, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Alabama Hospitals." This section states the deceased's name, rank, company, regiment, and date of death. The earliest listing is for August 18, 1861; the last for September 21, 1863. A table at the end of this file shows the following statistics for each of the three Alabama Hospitals covering this period:

Total Number of Patients received in 2nd Alabama Hospital 3713
Number of deaths in 2nd Alabama Hospital 300
Total Number of Patients received in 1st Alabama Hospital 1373
Number of deaths in 1st Ala. Hospital 102
Total Number of Patients in 3rd Alabama Hospital 2392
Number of deaths in 3rd Ala. Hospl. 136

The number of deaths as a percent of the total number of patients for 1st Alabama was 7.4%; for 2nd Alabama 8.1%; and for 3rd Alabama 5.7%.

In July 1863, possibly in the aftermath of the Battle of Gettysburg, the Confederate authorities sent approximately 200 Federal prisoners to Second Alabama Hospital. There is nothing in Mrs. Hopkins' records from July 1863 on concerning theme captured Union soldiers, no special funding, for example; indicating that the Confederates housed them there for a period of time separately from the hospital. Beginning July 27 and continuing through the 29th, Confederate doctors vaccinated 194 prisoners against small pox. Most of these were not battle casualties, or if so, had recovered by this time: in recording information on the men vaccinated, the medical orderly listed only fifteen as "not healthy." (A large number of the names on the July 1863 Second Alabama prisoner roster appeared on Andersonville's records in 1864.)

The Closing of Second Alabama Hospital

In March 1863, the Confederate Medical Department assumed control over all hospitals. In Richmond this caused the transfer of so many patients to larger, better planned hospitals such as Chimborazo, Winder, and Jackson, that thirty-five units closed down. The three Alabama Hospitals were among these. Mrs. Hopkins withdrew them from service October 31, 1863.

From the data on page 75 (see table below) it appears that already in February 1863 the medical department was anticipating such a move: that month Second Alabama received only 33 patients, down considerably from each of the previous months. In the two months following the decision to employ chiefly larger Confederate hospitals, not a single war casualty entered this facility. But after Chancellorsville in early May 1863, and perhaps after Gettysburg several months later, the Confederates again sent sick and wounded to Second Alabama. These, however, in the maln were the "slightly wounded" who "left in ten or fifteen days upon furlough(.)" The authorities had moved out a large percentage of the 443 admissions of May, June, and July by the end of these three months. Evidently no more patients entered.

In her final accounting on October 31, 1863, Mrs. Hopkins submitted the following statistics on the preceding year's operation of the three hospitals:

Am't of Balance on hand from last year 2,973.39
Am't rec'd of Judge A. F. Hopkins, State Funds 33,600.00
Am't Private Contributions 1159.30
Am't from Pay rolls , Sale of Rations, etc. 11,102.59
Am't from sale of Hospital Supplies 5,611.84
Total 54,447.32
Entire Amount Expended 53,760.91
Balance turned over to Judge A. F. Hopkins 686.41


Richmond. 2nd Alabama Hosp.


Remaining Last Report

Taken sick, etc



Returned to Duty

On Furlough

Discharged from Service






199 62 261 32 55 17 5   3 149


149 94 243 17 38 29   3 5 151


151 135 286 2 74 32 5 15 3 155


155 148 303 81 62 30 7   9 114


114 112 226 38 46 12     21 109


109 33 142 76 26 9 1 1 20 9


9 0 9 2   3     3 1


1 0 1           1 0


0 202 202 17 64       7 114


114 100 214 7 35 91 1   7 73


79 (sic) 143 222 7 59 48     2 104
  Total 1029   279 459 271 19 19 81  


Published Materials

Beers, Mrs. Fannie A., Memories, A Record of Personal Experience and Adventure During Four Years of War, Press of L. B. Lippincott, Philadelphia, 1891.

Bureau of Building Inspection, City of Richmond, Safety and Health Bldg., Richmond, Virginia, map.

Chesson, Michael B., Richmond After the War: 1865-1890, Virginia State Library, 1981.

Cunningham, H. H., Doctors in Gray, the Confederate Medical Service. Louisiana State University Press.

Dabney, Virginius, Richmond: the Story of a City, Doubleday & Co., Inc. 1976.

The Daily Dispatch, Richmond, Va., on microfilm at the Virginia State Library, Richmond, Va., Sept. 11, 1853; Dec. 4, 1857.

Directory of Richmond, Virginia, compiled and published by J. E. Chataigne, Virginia. State Library, Richmond, Va., 1894-95; 1889; 1918.

Ellyson's Richmond Directory, and Business Reference Book for 1845-46, Richmond, Va., on microfische in the Virginia State Library.

English, Dr. Bruce V., "Rose Alley," The Poe Messenger, Vol XII, No. 1, Summer 1982. (Publication of the Poe Museum, 1914-16 E. Main Street, Richmond, Virginia 23223.)

Henry, Robert S., The Story of the Confederacy., New York, Grosset & Dunlap 1931.

Klebsuer, Benjamin J., Commercial Banking in the United States: A History, The City College of the City University of Now York, The Dryden Press, 1974.

Montague, William L., Montague's Richmond Directory and Business Advertiser for 1850-1851, Virginia State Library.

Moore, John Hammond, Albemarle: Jefferson's County, 1727-1976, Albemarle County Historical Society, University Press of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va., 1976.

Photocopy, supplied by Mr. Gary Grant, Museum Research Assistant, National Tobacco Textile Museum, Danville, Virginia.

Nugents, Nell Marion, abstractor, Cavaliers & Pioneers, Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents & Grants, Vol. 2: 1666-1695, Virginia State Library.

Owen, Thomas McAdory, History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography, Vol. III, Chicago, The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1921.

Pollard, John, "Miles Turpin: A Tribute," 1893. Pamphlet in the Virginia Baptist Historical Society, University of Richmond Library, Richmond, Virginia.

Robert, Joseph Clarke, The Tobacco Kingdom, Plantation, Market, and Factory in Virginia and North Carolina 1800-1860.

Richmond Directory, 1876, Dean Dudley Co.

Richmond Directory, J. L. Hill Printing Co., Richmond, Virginia, 1911-1916, 1918.

The Richmond Directory & Business Advertiser for 1852, compiled by Wm. L. Montague, J. W. Woods, Baltimore, Printer.

The Richmond Directory, Register and Almanac for 1819, published by John Maddox, Richmond, Va., on microfische at the Virginia State Library.

The Richmond Dispatch, Richmond, Va., for Aug. 24, 1886; Jan. 21, 1893; Jan. 29, 1895; Jan 30, 1895.

Richmond Whig, Richmond, Va., Oct. 26, 1888.

Sanborn Insurance Maps, Virginia State Library, Richmond, Va., 1886, 1895.

Taylor, James B., Virginia Baptist Ministers, Series I, Philadelphia. J. B. Lippincott and Co., 1859. (Book in the Virginia Baptist Historical Society, University of Richmond Library, Richmond, Va.)

Tilley, Nannie May, The Bright-Tobacco Industry: 1860-1902, The University of North Carolina Press, 1948.

Waitt, Robert W. Jr., Confederate Military Hospitals in Richmond, Official Publication #22, Richmond Civil War Centennial Committee, 1964, printed by Central Duplicating Service, Dept. of General Services, City of Richmond, Virginia.

Williams, Frances Leigh, A Century of Service: Prologue to the Future; A History of the First and National Bank (Richmond, Va., First and Merchants National Bank), 1965.

Unpublished Materials

Accounts of Fiduciaries, Book No. 45, Chancery Court of the City of Richmond, Virginia State Library.

City of Richmond Land Books, years of 1797, 1798, 1815, 1819, 1823, 1828, 1829, 18309 1831, 1832, 1833, 1855, 1856, 1857, 1859, 1861, 1862, 1865, 1869, 1870, 1872, 1893, 1910, 1918.

Cote, Richard C., inspection and identification of features of building, March 6, 1981.

Deed Books, 91A; 91B; 122B; 137B; 144B; 200B; 236A, Chancery Court, City of Richmond, Virginia.

Deed Books, Henrico County, #22 (1820-1821); #35 (1832-1834); #44 (1841-1842); and #53 (1848), on microfilm, Virginia State Library.

Deed Books, Richmond Buntings, #63 (1852-1853); #71B, Part I (July 23, 1857) on microfilm, Virginia State Library.

Deed Book, Lancaster County, Virginia, March 18, 1850, on microfilm, Virginia State Library.

Donald, W. J., M. D., "Confederate States Medicine, Alabama's Role," State of Alabama, Department of Archives and History, Montgomery Alabama, 1970

Henrico County Minute Book for June 11, 1864, on microfilm, Virginia State Library.

Hollywood Cemetery Burial Register 3 (1892-1916) and Burial Register 4 (1916-1955), Reel 114, on microfilm, Virginia State Library.

Interview with Mr. N. W. Gregory, Feb. 5# 1981.

Interview with Mrs. Margaret Peters, Assistant Historian, Virginia Landmarks Commission, Commonwealth of Virginia, Richmond, Va., March 19, 1981.

Interview with Mr. J. E. Smith III, President of Maclin-Zimmer-McGill Tobacco, Inc., Petersburg, Va., on Sept. 1, 1982.

Interview with Dr. Harry J. Warthen, Jr., Richmond physician and Civil War student and lecturer.

Juliet Ann Hopkins Collection, Vols. I and II, "Mrs. A. F. Hopkins in account with the State of Alabama," State of Alabama, Dept. of Archives and History, Montgomery, Alabama.

Letter, Harry L. Barker of Barker Construction Co., Inc., Richmond, Va., to Oscar A. Pohlig, Jr., Feb. 12, 1981.

Letter, Ms. Zoe N. Baylies, Director of Research and Statistics, Tobacco Merchants Association of the U. S., New York, December 10, 1960.

Letter, A. P. Hopkins to Gov. John Gill Shorter, Sept. 19, 1863, Hopkins Collection, State of Alabama, Dept. of Archives and History.

Letter, Judge Hopkins to Gevernor Shorter, Oct. 23, 1863.

Letters, The VMI Alumni Assoc., VMI, Lexington, Va. Correspondence between A. Rufus Yarbrough and Joseph R. Anderson. Letter to Gen. F. H. Smith from Wm. J. Yarbrough. Letter from Mrs. Angela A. Patrick to Mr. Oscar A. Pohlig, Jr.

Library of the Tobacco Merchants Association of the U. S., App. #3786.

The National Archives, Navy and Old Army Branch, Washington D. C., Chapter 6, Vol. No. 425, Confederate Archives, Prescription Books, Alabama Hospital, Richmond, Va., from July 1864 to April 1865.

The National Archives, Navy and Old Army Branch, Washington D. C., Record Group 109, Chapter 6 of the War Department Collection of Confederate Records, Vol. 151; and Vol. 419, Vaccination Register of Prisoners (Union), 2nd Alabama Hospital.

Medical Director's Office, Richmond, Va., "Statistical Reports of hospitals in the Department of Virginia, 1862-1864." Found in the National Archives, Washington D. C.

Photocopies of sample prints from J. W. Fergusson and Sons, Inc., Richmond, Virginia.

Telephone interview with Mr. Gary Grant in April, 1981.

Telephone interview with Mr. James Paulauskia, Archivist at National Archives, Washington D. C., Feb. 23, 1982.

Ryland, Garnett, with additions by J. O. Pruden and L. V. Lanham, Sr., "History of Four Mile Creek Baptist Church," in records of Four Mile Creek Baptist Church, Henrico County, Va.

U. S. Corps of Engineers Map, 1865, Virginia State Library.

U. S. Census, Schedule for Products of Industry for the City of Richmond, Virginia, Virginia State Library, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1850; also Jefferson Ward, 1880.

Waitt, Robert W. Jr., interviewed by O. A. Pohlig, Jr., Feb. 19, 1981.

Will Book No. 3, Chancery Court of Richmond, Richmond Courts Building, Richmond, Virginia.

Yarbrough File, Valentine Museum, Richmond, Va. 

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