Kingston, Georgia Hospitals

Sorry I have not logged on in a while. I have been working on some exciting records from the Samuel Hollingsworth Stout Collection. Bradley Quinlin, fellow historian, has discovered some great records located at the Briscoe History Center in Austin, Texas. He has managed to retrieve all of the Georgia Records and a lot of other states as well. Its been exciting to go through these records and finding letter like this one.

Kingston July 14, 1863
Surgeon S H Stout
Med Director of Hospitals
I have had turned over to me, at this place, the Hospital and its fixtures. An official report, with invoices etc. giving you a detailed statement of every thing connected with it, will be furnished, as soon as the papers can be made out.
The buildings here are badly suited for Hospital purposes. I find one hundred beds & furniture in good order, but owing to the Compacted condition of the houses, patients, to its full capacity, could not be safely placed in this Hospital. I have Commenced making some changes to improve ventilation, but these must necessarily be quite limited. Fifty patients might be safely treated – more in the present buildings, would, in my judgement, suffer. I find all the houses in the town occupied except the Churches. I doubt the policy of disturbing the Citizens unless the necessity should be urgent. I know of no private residences here, suited for Hospital purposes the Hotels, have small rooms, quite out of order, and badly ventilated. – The Churches are small but would make good Hospitals.
If it should be determined to establish Hospitals here, I would suggest the fine spring one mile from town. This place, I think a desirable one. Suited to tents or the more permanent arrangement of Houses. I suggest the former, for the present, at least, I know of no place better suited for tent Hospitals.
Should you conclude to send me fifty _(?)_ tents, it will be necessary to send nurses with them, as there are only two here, and one cook. The two nurses, include the steward. The other is a hired servant. The cook is also hired. An astute Surgeon will be required. There are no surgical instruments here. Cooking and table furniture, I think too limited for even fifty permanent patients.
Col. Garland has not, as yet, received orders. Has no Quarter Master. A Commissary has reported, but has no supplies on hand. I hope everything will be arranged this week. After which time, I will be finally prepared to receive the sick.
If you should determine on tents I can easily use the beds here one hundred in number. It will afford me much pleasure at all times to Co-operate with you, in what our Course may be determined on. I will make no requisitions, until I learn more definitely, what may be the required.
B W Avent
Surgeon in charge

No sick on hand here. Surgeon Mattingly will make his morning report to Rome until all of the papers are __(?)_ over


General Benjamin Ward Avent, Sr
Confederate General, Surgeon-General of the Army of Tennessee and Medical Doctor
Photo courtesy of

Avent in the letter above, points out the sanitary conditions of the buildings in Kingston. I think if you look at the advice of Stout that having open air tents to allow air flow was more sanitary. not meaning the buildings were dirty just not enough airflow for sick soldiers. In the letter is also mentioned 100 beds available starting out. if you look at the records in less than a month this hospital was filled to capacity. There were two hospitals mentioned in which is first the Kingston hospital and note’s mentioned this was the Ways Side hospital. The second Hospital was called the Erwin hospital and I believe this was the tent hospital Avent mentioned. This was located a mile form Kingston near a spring. one can only speculate exactly where it was.
There were several surgeons listed here. D S Hopping, George Willis McDade and several others. These same doctors would travel to Atlanta from Kingston to stay in front of the encroaching Union army. Its important to not there was a Camp Kingston in Atlanta with some of the same doctors but most of the reports indicate if the hospital was in Kingston or in Atlanta.
But just to mention these records are very exciting and addicting to go through. Some of the records are illegible but I have been having some success with an online software called Lunapic. There is several software applications and I am not selling software. These records may involve a second trip to Texas to enhance these records. Nonetheless the challenge is fun and exciting.
From the Medical Officers of the Army of Tennessee section of
“Southern Historical Papers -Volume XXII”
Note: Great reference by the way. All of the surgeons names are here.
Box 2G394 Samuel Hollingsworth Stout Records.

Dr Benjamin Ward Avent, Sr


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