The Hospital Room Exhibit was created in 2020 thanks to the dedicated research of FoWB members Bob Lookabill, Bob Epp and John Kanaster. They worked in partnership with the Park to procure and stage items and figures which convey a sense of what occurred at Ellwood after the Battle of Chancellorsville in May 1863. Hundreds of soldiers recuperated in the manor house until they either succumbed to their injuries, were transferred to General Hospitals or were discharged from the Confederate Army.
Head Doctor John Alexander Graham talks to arm amputee patient Adam Jehu Wilson. Dr. Graham, from Lexington VA., was in charge for the entire existence of the hospital. Prior to the war he graduated from medical schools in Philadelphia and New York. Surviving the war, he traveled from Appomattox Courthouse back to Lexington where he continued to practice medicine. Dr. Graham’s post war photo is at inset. Adam Wilson was from Blacksburg VA. Wounded in the right elbow his arm was amputated by 2nd Corp head surgeon Dr. Harvey Black. Adam returned to Blacksburg when released and later married Sareah Tuckwiller in Lewisburg, WV. He ran the Tuckwiller Inn and farm until his death. He named his youngest son Harvey Black Wilson. His photo appears alongside Dr. Graham’s and was provided by his granddaughter Ann McClung who currently lives in the Tuckwiller Inn property.
A nurse tending to a leg amputee patient. From letters to the Medical Director in Richmond we know that many of the 132 patients originally left at Ellwood were leg amputees. This makes sense as the hospital was created for the patients who were too severely wounded to be moved to general hospitals after the Battle of Chancellorsville in early May 1863. You see additional bandages and implements used in changing the dressing for the patient. At the foot of the bed you see what would have been a typical meal for the patients that summer. Local corn along with bread, probably baked on site in the outdoor oven, lamb chops and water or milk to drink. We know the owner of Ellwood was reimbursed for mutton and milk in August, probably when the hospital closed.
Not all of these items would be found in all patient’s rooms but they are representative of what you would expect to find somewhere in a Civil War hospital. They include; numerous tins and bottles of medicines, a mortar and pestle for grinding medicines used in preparing prescriptions, a patient feeder, a wooden statoscope, an oil lamp, and a “pannier” or compartmented, lockable medicine chest used for storing and transporting drugs. On the chair in the corner are uniform items for a patient. They include haversack, canteen, slouch hat, jacket and shirt.