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1751 - 1800

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1951 - Today

CIVIL WAR

(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. In 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 number 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.

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