From William A. Carrington CSR (M331): Inspection report, dated 10/6/62, for Clopton Hospital.
Richmond Oct 6th 1862
Medl Director E. S. Gaillard:
I have the honour to report that by your direction I inspected on Sat. Oct 4th, the Clopton Hospital - Main near 4th St. It is situated in a thickly settled neighborhood & the wealth & patriotism of the inhabitants has caused the Hosl to receive a much larger amt of contribution in comforts for the sick & appropriate nursing than most others.
The lot (27 ft by 120) is occupied by the Hosl building & kitchen - The yard is small & hence the patients have exercised in the streets. Six (6) rooms (each 17 by 21½ ft) are occupied by patients & according to established & well tested rules of Hygiene afford accommodation for only about 45 patients - Several verandahs might be used & increase its capacity in emergencies. Three small rooms used as office, apothecary shop & for accommodation of physicians & nurses, add to its efficiency. A laundry & kitchen are attached - no bath room exists - A privy with only one sink & in very offensive condition is entirely insufficient for patients and attendants when probably many cases of Diarrhea exist.
Of Attendants - The Surgeon in Ch, Contract Physician H. A. Tatum died on the 3rd. Contract physician R. M. Patterson is now constantly on duty - They were contracted with by Surgeon Genl S. P. Moore from July 1st & July 9th respectively at $80 per month. Two Stewards (one probably acting as wardmaster), one clerk & 3 nurses, are not agreeable to allowance of attendants (Regn 45), but in excess. 2 cooks & 3 laundresses are not in excess of allowance.
Fifty eight (58) patients are in this Hospl & 36 in private quarters. The food is well prepared & though provisions are drawn, I could find no accounting of provisions, returns & hospital fund, which must exist as some part of the rations must manifestly be commuted - gas is used & never has been paid for. No Hosl Records other than the Register have been kept - copies of requisitions, returns of property, order & letter book & copies of monthly & quarterly reports were not kept.
The persons of the patients, their clothing, the beds & bedding, & the floors of the wards, corridors & verandahs were in a most commendable condition of neatness. The wards well lighted & ventilated, & order, quiet, & discipline without restraint seemed to exist.
The medicines have not except in a small quantity been drawn from the Purveyor; but prescriptions compounded by a neighboring Apothecary & paid for by order of Surgeon Genl. Hosl stores have been drawn in moderate quantities - Eight gallons of stimulants supplied in the last 2 mos. By reference to the Report of the Surgeon Genl made up to Sept 17th/62, I find that the Death rate has been far smaller in this hospital than any other, it being 11 in 565 or about 1 in 51 - less than 2 per cent, whereas in the large Genl Hosls it is generally from one in 9 to one in 20. This is partly & principally accounted for by the nature of the cases - the severely wounded composing the majority of patients. But it must partly be explained by the excellent sanitary measures made use of - which more than compensates for the disadvantages mentioned.
The distinguished lady superintendent whose name it bears has been indefatigable in zeal & patient care & has with her many other lady assistants acquired skill & tact in dressing wounds & Hosl management - Their prescence alone has been able to provide order, decorum, & discipline & to do away with sentinels & the necessity of rules & regulations which are voluntarily observed without enforcing. The neighbors are most anxious that this Hosl should be broken up, & considering (1) the building is not sufficient for the accommodation of more than very few patients (2) That conveniences will have to be supplied at some expense (3) That several thousand vacancies exist in the organized Hosls of this city, where proper attention may be given to the patients at less expense, I recommend that this be done gradually if should think best (according to your late regn sending the Convalescents to Camp Winder) or immediately transporting all inmates to some organized institution & requesting that Mrs. Judge Clopton allow the Hospital or ward to which they are transferred to receive her name & to continue to them there the benefit of her devoted labors & skill.
Your Obedient Servant,
Wm. A. Carrington
Surgeon & Inspector of Hospitals