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Filing Cabinet - Civil War

Captain Sally Tompkins

During the Civil War, Sally Tompkins nursed 1,333 Confederate soldiers in her 22 bed Robertson Hospital at the corner of Third and Main Streets in Richmond, Virginia with the remarkable record of returning 94% of them to service. Threatened with the Confederate government deciding early in the war to close all private hospitals, Sally Tompkins presented Confederate President Jefferson Davis with the evidence of the success of her hospital. Impressed with her record, President Davis commissioned Sally Tompkins as a captain in the Confederate Cavalry, making Robertson Hospital an official government hospital. Captain Sally became the only female officer – Confederate or Union – of the Civil War.

A stickler for cleanliness, Sally Tompkins was said to have ruled her hospital with a stick in one hand and a Bible in the other. Captain Sally held nightly prayer meetings and, if a soldier was too sick too attend, Captain Sally would come by his bed later that night to pray with him and read the Bible to him. Whenever Captain Sally discharged a patient, she sent him off with a knapsack packed with blanket, clean clothes, warm socks she knitted herself, and a copy of the Gospels bound in oil cloth

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