north carolina highway historical marker program
North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program
 

 
 
 

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Marker Text:

Essay:
     The Confederacy organized its Medical Department late in 1861 and within months, in April of 1862, the North Carolina General Military Hospital No. 2 was established in Wilson in what had once been the Wilson Female Seminary. Dr. Solomon Sampson Satchwell, who had graduated from Wake Forest College and studied medicine at New York University before serving as a military surgeon with the Twenty-fifth North Carolina Infantry, was appointed Surgeon-in-Charge. In the 1864 Confederate States Medical and Surgical Journal the Wilson hospital was listed as one of twenty-one principal hospitals in North Carolina. It served those wounded in fighting along the coast.

     The hospital made Wilson known outside of the state of North Carolina. Employing thirty-five to forty people, it also boosted the local economy. Most nurses and orderlies were unskilled soldiers; however, at least seven local women were known to have worked at the hospital as matrons. Their duties included food preparation and cleaning. The Atlantic Coast Line Railroad that ran through Wilson provided the military hospital with supplies, including ice and turpentine, used to treat fevers.

     Fighting never broke out in Wilson, but, on July 20, 1863, “an immense armament of negroes and Yankees” advanced on Wilson. Reportedly, a group of invalids from the hospital and local militia defended Wilson by destroying the bridge over the Toisnot Swamp to halt the invaders. All of those who died at the hospital were buried in a mass grave. The hospital closed at the end of the war. When Wilson created a town cemetery, they were re-interred there with a Confederate monument erected over the site. Wilson Female Seminary reopened in the former hospital and received a charter as Wilson Collegiate Institute in 1872.


References:
Confederate States Medical and Surgical Journal, vol. 1, no. 10 (1864)
History of Wilson County and its Families (1985)
Patrick Valentine, The Rise of a Southern Town: Wilson, North Carolina (2002)
William S. Powell, ed., Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, V, 284—sketch by W. Conard Gass
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north carolina highway historical marker program


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