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    A Chimborazo Hospital Chest From the Famous Confederate Hospital At Richmond - Published in William Albaugh's Book This hospital chest manufactured by Samuel Sutherland's Gun and Pistol Emporium of Richmond, Virginia was used at the famous Chimborazo Confederate Hospital in Richmond, Virginia. Owned by Confederate Surgeon Captain W. H. Pugh of Division One, the mahogany chest has been published in noted historian William Albaugh's book and comes from his personal collection.

    The Chimborazo Hospital was built in 1861 to start handling the casualties from the first Battle of Manassas. Now the site of the National Park Service building, the location was chosen on a high hill in Richmond near the James River. Supposedly named for a volcano in South America, Chimborazo had plenty of fresh water from nearby springs and was easily supplied through the use of the Kanawha Canal. Covering 40 acres, and handling almost 80,000 patients during the course of the war, the hospital was divided into five divisions within 120 buildings, making it one of the largest hospitals ever constructed by the Confederacy.

    According to National Archives records Confederate Surgeon W. H. Pugh of Norfolk, Virginia was assigned to Division One as the assistant to Surgeon-in-Charge P. F. Browne. Conditions were harsh in the hospital as the number of wounded grew throughout the war and supplies became scarce. Chief Surgeon Dr. James McGraw, a brilliant manager did all he could to provide for the wounded but his surgeons such as Captain W. H. Pugh were inundated by the numbers of men resulting in a 20% death rate, actually quite good for a wartime hospital in the mid 19th century.

    This mahogany box still bears the Samuel Sutherland's maker's label inside the top lid of the box. Originally a gun maker and gun supply business located at 132 Main Street in Richmond, Sutherland was an ardent Southerner and supporter of the Confederacy. The wording on the label states in part:

    Prices to suit all customers and a guarantee that Sutherland Mark rifles will kill a Yankee or Abolitionist at one hundred yards!

    With two removable drawers inside and one bottom drawer, the chest retains its original hardware including two handles, the bottom drawer pull and original hinges. Stenciled on the front of the chest is "CAPt. W. H. PUGH / ASSt. SURGEON" in block letters. On the top of the chest is stenciled "CHIMBORAZO / HOSPITAL / DIVISION No. 1". This hospital chest is from the famous William Albaugh Collection and was published in his book, making this a rare and authenticated treasure from the famous Confederate hospital in Richmond.
    Provenance:The William Turner Collection

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2007
    24th-25th Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,358

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