(1861 - 1865)
At the beginning of the Civil War, Pennsylvania Hospital received
Philadelphia's first casualty, not from the battlefield but as
a result of a secessionist mob action in a Baltimore railroad
station. Attacking northern recruits, the mob set upon the Philadelphia
contingent, including Private George Leisenring, who died four
days later at Pennsylvania Hospital.
Philadelphia became a center for military hospitals. Eventually,
there were almost 10,000 beds throughout the city. Referrals
were made to 22 civilian hospitals for special services. Pennsylvania
Hospital's reputation as a surgical center was well known and
it received 124 special cases during what was the nation's bloodiest
struggle until World War II.
Again, the hospital experienced
the severe economic consequences of war which left most of
the city's leading charitable institutions inadequately funded.
addition to the financial and supply shortages suffered by
the hospital's Department of the Sick and Injured, its Department
of the Insane also went without reimbursement for the large
of southern patients it housed. Their impoverished families
were barely existing in the ravaged South.
From the Managers' annual report of 1866, the plight of the
Department of the Sick and Injured was clear:
... the necessities of life, and the indispensable appliances
in ministering to the afflicted, have advanced twofold in price
since our civil war began, unrenumerating patients has largely
increased in both medical and surgical wards.
to 1851 - 1900