Birds Eye View of Lincoln U.S. General Hospital Washington, D. C. Charles H. Seymour.

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Birds Eye View of Lincoln U.S. General Hospital Washington, D. C.

Washington D.C.: Chas. H. Seymour, 1865. C. Sanders & Co., litho., 117[?] Baltimore St., Baltimore. Chromolithograph, 14” x 15.75”, plus margins. Recently reinforced with Japanese tissue on verso. CONDITION: Good, some soiling, primarily in margins.

An exceedingly scarce and attractive bird’s eye view of Lincoln General Hospital in Washington, D.C., published during the Civil War.

One of a number of military hospitals built in Washington D.C. to care for the war’s wounded, Lincoln General was constructed in 1861 and opened in December 1862. Named in honor of President Lincoln, it was the largest military hospital built by the Union Army in Washington. This view shows the entirety of the hospital and its grounds, with Capitol Hill visible on the horizon along with many buildings and residences, and another hospital at upper right. Between the hospital and Capitol Hill are various troops, wagons, and cavalrymen traveling to and from the hospital. Twenty-five structures within Lincoln General’s complex are identified in the lower margin, including a Water Tank, Laundry, Sister's Quarters, Sister's Chapel, Steward's Quarter, Kitchen, Dining Room, Commissary & Bakery, Butler, Stable, Contraband Quarters, Dead House (morgue), Barber's Shop, Carpenter Shop, Hose House, Butcher Shop, and Daguerreian Saloon (this last seemingly anachronistic, as the daguerreotype had essentially been displaced by other forms of photography by the time of the Civil War). The hospital headquarters are indicated by the flag at the head of the “V” that is formed by the two lines of twenty pavilions. Each tent and hospital facility is numbered. The work is dedicated to J. C. McKee, Assistant Surgeon U.S.A. in Charge. Copies were obtainable at 117 East Capitol St. Cor. 5th Capitol Hill Washington, and also at the Post Office in the Lincoln Hospital.

Situated on Capitol Hill, only a mile away from the Capitol building, Lincoln General embraced twenty-five tent wards and twenty pavilions—totaling 2,575 beds. Kitchen and dining rooms were connected to the pavilions via a covered pathway. Poet Walt Whitman, a frequent visitor, mentions Lincoln Hospital in an 11 Dec. 1864 New York Times article: “[Carver Hospital] has more inmates than an ordinary country town. The same with Lincoln Hospital, east of the Capitol. … A wanderer like me about Washington, pauses on some high land which commands the sweep of the city…and has his eyes attracted by these white clusters of barracks in almost every direction.”

Like many other military hospitals, Lincoln General was taken down shortly after the War. The area on which the hospital was built had originally been selected by Pierre L’Enfant to accommodate a mile marker, from which all distances to and from Washington would be measured. Today it is a residential district.

The lithographer C. Sanders & Company is obscure. The firm is not listed in either America on Stone or The Color Explosion.

WorldCat records a single copy, at the Library of Congress.

REFERENCES: Historical Association of Tobyhanna Township. Lincoln General Hospital at; National Library of Medicine. Former Site of Lincoln General Hospital at; New York Times (11 Dec. 1864).

Item #7280

On Hold

Price: $1,800.00

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