April 17, 2018

St. Thomas Chapel and The Toll of War

There is a new interpretative marker facing St. Thomas Chapel in Middletown. I stopped by there yesterday to take a few pictures.

The sign was erected for Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical to tell of the chapel's use as a hospital in October 1864.
The Toll of War
 The carnage of battle meant that beside the hundreds of men killed or mortally wounded on the battlefield thousands of others had wounds or injuries that required treatment. Dozens of private homes or others structures, including St. Thomas Church were pressed into service as temporary hospitals. Conditions were deplorable, as medicine was still somewhat primitive and in short supply, knowledge about infection was little understood and the need for sterile conditions was unknown. The number of soldiers dying from infections was almost double the number who died on the battlefield.  

This James Taylor sketch depicts Union doctors performing surgery inside St. Thomas Chapel following the Battle of Cedar Creek.
 Sharing with Tuesday Treasures.


  1. ...little has been learned from centuries of war! Thanks Linda for sharing this beautiful church. Peace be with you.

  2. That was an especially horrendous war, fought among the civilian population. The chapel is a beautiful one.

  3. Field doctors were amazing when they were able to save someone

  4. This is a beautiful church, and it is interesting to know it once served as a makeshift hospital. I guess they had to do the best they could with what was available.

    1. Yes, in parts of Virginia virtually every public building was turned into a hospital. Many private homes were too.

  5. Such a beautiful Church.

    All the best Jan


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