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This type of hospital was highly recommended by the United States medical department, though it was not often built complete as shown here. The wards radiate like the spokes of a wheel from a covered passageway which extends completely around the hospitals. Inside this circle was a bakery, laundry, offices, and rooms for the surgeons. Notable are the roof ventilation and the large number of windows. Camp Nelson, shown below, was originally organized by Major-General George H. Thomas in 1861, for the purpose of bringing together the first Kentucky troops to go to the war. It was an open question that year whether Kentucky would espouse the cause of the North or the South. The Southern sympathizers, led by Simon B. Buckner, organized a State Guard, and the Union sympathizers organized an opposition force to which they gave the name of the Home Guard. When Fort Sumter was fired on, the Home Guard organized itself into Union regiments under such leaders as Thomas L. Crittenden and Lovell H. Rousseau. In 1861 Ohio and Indiana regiments crossed the State to Camp Nelson, and the men gathered there were the men that fought the famous battle of Mill Springs, one of the first Union victories. One of the reasons for the location of Camp Nelson was its proximity to the water. A large pumping-station was erected there on the banks of the Kentucky River. It was always a busy place during the war. No old soldier connected with the Camp will ever forget the charming view of the old-style wood-covered Hickman Bridge.

United States General hospital by the river at Jeffersonville, Indiana: a good type of hospital construction developed during the war

A mountain convalescent Camp at Camp Nelson, Kentucky: where the Kentucky recruits of 1861 were gathered.


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George H. Thomas (2)
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