LARGE FORMAT ALBUMEN OF A U.S. GENERAL HOSPITAL

$550.00

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Item Code: 1054-673

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After undergoing whatever treatment could be administered at army division or corps field hospitals, Civil War casualties were usually evacuated to larger general hospitals near metropolitan areas. This large format albumen shows an unidentified general hospital complex that still seems to be under partial construction and that has received an influx of new patients. Mounted on a cardstock backing measuring about 11 by 14 inches, the photograph measures about 7 by 10 inches and has deep rich tones and just some minor spotting in the sky at upper left. Unidentified by specific location, a period pencil caption at bottom reads, “Genl. Hospital.”

Taken from some rising ground, the image shows an established road running across the lower middle ground from left to right. Beyond that at center is a large area of open ground criss-crossed by paths and narrow roads. To the right stand two long white frame buildings that are certainly hospital wards. In the background, on rising ground are some wall tents, likely belonging to medical personal, and some rail fences, indicating a farm has recently been taken over. At left a road runs off along the front of several more long white frame buildings entered by staircases, also certainly hospital wards. The two nearest the camera seem to be under construction. They have not been whitewashed and building materials seem piled in front of one.

Hospitals were often the subject of Civil War photographs. While reminders of the suffering caused by war, they seem also to have attracted attention as counterpoints to images of large depots of arms and war materiel showing that industry and organization could also be harnessed to alleviate suffering. They often remind the modern viewer of the primitive conditions Civil War soldiers experienced at even the higher level hospitals.

This is a nicely produced photograph that would compliment a medical display. It might also be possible to identify the location by matching the camp architecture to other images.  [sr]

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