Near this location during the Civil War was the smallpox hospital where thousands of people were quarantined.
Highly contagious, horrible to behold and often fatal, smallpox was a dreaded disease. When the scourge hit the prison camp, officials built this second hospital to isolate victims. Whether you were Union, Confederate or civilian, you were quarantined here.
Surgeons, hospital stewards and nursing sisters from the Daughters of Charity cared for the smallpox patients so well that some survivors preferred the hospital to the prison camp. But many did not survive. Some 1200 people died from smallpox and were buried in a separate cemetery, isolated even in death.
An Advantage of Isolation
Isolation in the smallpox hospital could have unexpected benefits. Located on the far edge of camp, the hospital was poorly guarded because soldiers, fearful of disease, kept their distance. The small pox hospital became a point of escape for Confederate prisoners of war.
Dr. E.S. Bronson, a surgeon from the 2nd New Hampshire regiment, was one of the trained military doctors who provided care at the small pox hospital.Asst. Surgeon Sylvanius Bunton of the 2nd New Hampshire Volunteers was the senior medical officer when the smallpox epidemic broke out.