Daily Documents

The collection of documents also allows individuals to see the inner workings of a Civil War hospital. Requests for medical supplies show commonly needed medical items like muslin, bandages, crutches, and morphine sulphate. The administrative needs of a hospital also show up in requests for ink, envelopes, and other office supplies. Requisitions were sent monthly, and would thus contain enough supplies to last the entire month. Other routine information found in the collection comes from daily morning reports of sick and wounded at the hospital. Hospital workers documented the number of patients admitted, as well as those who had died, were transferred, furloughed, or released. Administrators then totaled these numbers with those from previous days/weeks for an accurate census of the hospital’s occupancy.

A requisition for supplies from Way Hospital in Lynchburg for the month of November, 1864. The document also includes the number of beds in the hospital, which helps to quantify the monthly amount of the included supplies needed to treat 150-170 patients.