During the Civil War, overwhelming numbers of sick and wounded soldiers came to Richmond seeking treatment at one of the city's dozens of Confederate medical facilities, the best known of which was Chimborazo Hospital, established on this site in 1861. Some of the hospitals were purpose-built, while others operated in converted churches, warehouses, and hotels. Families often took in soldiers to help ease overcrowding. Many hospitals had matrons: women who mixed administrative supervision with patient care. Juliet Hopkins, Phoebe Pember, and Sally Tompkins were among the most notable women who gained distinction through their hard work caring for soldiers.
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