In 1861 there was on what is now known as Chimborazo Park
one house, owned by a Richard Laughton
, and a small office building.
For the purpose of making the hospital an independent institution, the secretary of war made Chimborazo hospital an army post, and Dr. McCaw
was made commandant; an officer and thirty men were stationed there, and everything conducted ‘selon de regles.’
As the commandant, Surgeon McCaw
was not in the regular army of the Confederacy
, the surgeon-general
said: ‘I do not know what name to give the hospital or its chief.’
Not wishing to call it a general hospital, at Dr. McCaw
's suggestion it was given a distinctive name and called Chimborazo
, and Dr. James B. Mccaw
was made commandant and medical director in chief.
When possession was taken of the hill it was separated from Church Hill
on the western side by Bloody Run
(After the war a street was built, across the ravine connecting the two hills and completing the extension of Broad street.) A large house north of the hospital was occupied as headquarters by the medical directors and chiefs of divisions, with a clerical force.
These five hospitals or divisions, were organized as far as possible on a State basis; troops from the same State being thrown together and treated and cared for by officers and attendants from their own States.
In addition to the one hundred and fifty buildings, there were one hundred ‘Sibley
tents,’ in which were put from eight to ten convalescent patients to a tent; these tents were pitched upon the slopes of the hill, presenting a very imposing sight.
Oakwood cemetery, which up to that time had been comparatively a small graveyard, was created by the hospital.
It was near, suitable, and accessible, and is sacred to the memory of many brave soldiers who gave their lives for our cause.
The loyal women of Oakwood Memorial Association erected a beautiful shaft on a grassy mound, midst the graves of the ‘boys that wore the gray,’ with the following inscription on the four sides of the base: