“After Nashville and Memphis fell to Union control, venereal disease became such a problem that authorities legalized and regulated prostitution after an unsuccessful attempt to ship the prostitutes to Louisville, Kentucky, or Cincinnati, Ohio. Beginning in September 1863, Nashville prostitutes had to pay a fee of fifty cents per week and submit to frequent medical examinations. Those deemed healthy were issued a license. Those found to be diseased were sent to a special hospital, No. 11, a former bishop’s home, where they received treatment funded by their weekly fees. Unlicensed prostitutes would be sentenced to thirty days in the workhouse.”
Schroeder-Lein, Glenna R.. The Encyclopedia of Civil War Medicine . M.E. Sharpe. Kindle Edition.
Click the image above to enlarge
Hospital #2 was also the same as the one in the University Building.
Cowan’s partial description:
Dr. Josiah Reed enlisted as a private on September 24, 1862 and served in the 94th OH Inf. Co. I. After being wounded at the Battle of Stones River, his superiors put him on light duty in the dispensary at Hospital No. 2 near Nashville where he began his career in medicine. He worked in the hospital as needed including as a druggist, Our principas druggist having been taken away by his Colonel, wrote Reed, the principal duties of this department has devolved upon me, and to one not regularly brought up a druggist, it involves no trifling responsibilities My duties here are more constant then they would be in the field, but they are not attended with so many hardships and so much exposure. (Gen Hospital No. 2, Nashville, April 15, 1863). Serving in the hospital did not shield him from death. After the passing of his friend, Lizzie Woodward’s husband George, Reed wrote to Lizzie,
I am glad to hear your patriotic sentiments and know that you are resigned to the sacrifices we are called to make in these momentous times. I believe this nation will be preserved as a unit, but every family within its borders will have to make some sacrifice for its preservation. Oh how many families will be made desolate by the present bloody contest now in progress. News up to the present time shows very decided gains in favor of truth and liberty but the slaughter has been dreadful (Gen Hospt. No. 2 Nashville, May 14, 1863).
He wrote to her again a few days later, revealing more of the horrors of war while trying to maintain some optimism,
I have witnessed some very affecting scenes in the hospital as well as on the battlefield, some of which I will relate to you if we are permitted to meet again…I believe that it is profitable to look at things in their true light occasionally but perhaps it is not best to look too long on the dark side of the picture…I am still in the hospital, I shall probably remain here as long as my services are needed(Hospital No. 2 Nashville, TN, May 27, 1863).
Reed remained at the hospital for two and a half years and committed himself to studying during the odd hours of the day and attending medical lectures at the University of Nashville. He wrote to Lizzie, I am going to be an M.D. because I am attending a few lectures. There is too much to be learned for me to think of such a thing while in the service. I only expect to improve my opportunities to the best advantage (Gen Hospt. No. 2 Nashville, May 14, 1863). Over time, his relationship with Lizzie grew beyond friendship. He teased Lizzie after she did not write for some time,
I did not think you would abandon your old friend and correspondent so abruptly. I knew it was possible that you had fallen in love and perhaps married some dashing fellow whom you may have met with in your travels, but even then I would expect to hear from you and hear all the particulars. Won’t you make me your confidant in such an event? You did once… (Officer’s Hospital, College Hill, Nashville, TN, December 31, 1864).
Nashville had the third largest medical school in the United States during the Civil War.
“By the 1850s a number of medical schools had been opened in the South, in Richmond, Virginia; Augusta, Georgia; Charleston, South Carolina; Nashville, Tennessee; and New Orleans, Louisiana.”
Schroeder-Lein, Glenna R.. The Encyclopedia of Civil War Medicine . M.E. Sharpe. Kindle Edition. Location 2225
For the full article
April 24, 1865
Your kind letter of April 17th is at hand. I am glad to hear you are well and the friends the same. I have almost recovered from my spell of diarrhea although I am yet very weak and poor. If you would see me now you would think I had a long spell of sickness.
I got a letter yesterday from J. W. Keyser dated April 12th. He says he is well and likes soldiering very well but he would rather be at home. He brags mightily with the bounty he received. He says he sent $475 home to his family and then he goes on in as much to say he done well. He don’t want the assistance of no one. I wrote him a letter telling him I wished him well and hoped he would get home again. I think you had not got the money that i sent to you when you wrote or you had of let me know. The letter that I got today was enclosed with one that Abraham wrote. You want to know if I think I can come home before my time is up. I don’t think that I can. If the war was to close today, it would probably be 2 or 3 months before I could come home. I think the best for you would be to wait patiently till my time is up. I may probably be discharged before my time is up; I can’t tell. All I ask is my health and strength and if it is God’s will that I am permitted to return home with sound limbs and body, I know that I can make a living. And if I didn’t get $400 or 500 bounty, you know we have a good piece of land and if it is half cultivated, we can live on it. But it is foolish for me to talk about anything like this now.
Well, with this I will close, hoping you are all well. I have sent to my regiment for my descriptive roll. When it comes, I will make application for a discharge. But I do not know how soon or how long that will be. No more at present. From your husband, — Jacob D. Row
to his wife Hannah
Cumberland Hospital, Ward 27, Nashville, Tenn.
[Editor’s note: Cumberland Hospital was hospital #1. 900 beds and was led by B.Cloak.]
Source: eBay Jan 2019
This Civil War letter was written by Jacob D. Row (1835-1910) to his wife Hannah (Knepp) Row (1838-1899) whom he married on 30 June 1861 in Holmes, Ohio. Jacob was the son of David Row (1811-1858) and Sarah Alleshouse (1814-1881) of Crawford, Coshocton county, Ohio.
At the age of 29, Jacob was drafted at LaPorte, Indiana, in September 1864 into the 15th Indiana Infantry and later transferred into Co. B, 17th Indiana Infantry (which was converted to cavalry late in 1864). Before being drilled or even issued any arms, Jacob was transported with other draftees and substitutes by train, under guard, all the way from Indianapolis to Chattanooga, Tennessee, to join his regiment. They found them bivouacked one mile outside of the “little one horse town” in sight of Lookout Mountain which Jacob—a flatlander from northern Indiana—judged to be about “four miles high.” After his first taste of guard duty and “hard” camp life, Jacob returned to Louisville, Kentucky, with his regiment who were to be converted to cavalry.
After waiting weeks for mounts, Jacob rode his old gray horse—“as old as Methuselah” he claimed—on only one march with his regiment—that being from Louisville to Nashville from 28 December 1864 to January 12, 1865. From that point forward he was hospitalized in either Gallatin or Nashville, Tennessee, from 12 January 1865 until his discharge on 27 July 1865. Most of this time he was “playing off” as he called it. “If they send me to my regiment, I tell you I shall not stay with it long,” wrote Jacob to his wife. “The first chance I get, I will parch a lot of corn in salty grease and eat a good deal of it and that will make me the diarrhea. Then I will get the piles again. Then I will tell the doctor it is altogether from riding so he will send me to the hospital again. I am bound not to do Lincoln much good in regard of freeing the negroes if I can help it.”