Clearing and Evacuation Facility
Federal medical authorities established the largest temporary hospital of the Civil War in the aftermath of the Third Battle of Winchester on September 19, 1864. Union Gen. Philip H. Sheridan's medical director, Surgeon James T. Ghiselin, on September 22, ordered Surgeon John H. Brinton to lay out a 4,000-bed facility. Brinton in turn ordered 500 tents and medical supplies for 5,000 patients that had been positioned at Northern rail yards, as well as 20 physicians. Since many public and private structures in Winchester were full of injured Confederates after the battle, the new hospital held Union casualties. Designated Sheridan Field Hospital, the huge facility extended from Shawnee Springs northward to Jacob Senseny's house on Church Ridge. Staff housing and administrative buildings occupied the high ground to your left. Surgeon James V.Z. Blaney assumed command of the hospital on September 28, after Brinton completed its layout.
The hospital quickly treated and evacuated more than 4,000 casualties then became a clearing and evacuation facility. It received patients from engagements farther south, processed them, and moved them to medical facilities in the North. With assistance from United States Sanitary Commission personnel, patients were clothed, fed, and moved on, often in a few hours. The largest surge of patients came after the Battle of Cedar Creek on October 19, when the hospital evacuated 3,400 men between October 23 and 31. Its population dwindled rapidly thereafter, and it sent off its last patient on December 28. The hospital closed on January 4, 1865.