saint james church

Angel Of The Confederacy-  Nurse Sally Louisa Tompkins- 

A Name Lost To History- Her Hospital Had The Lowest Mortality Rate Of Any Military Hospital During The Civil War

Humanitarian, nurse, and philanthropist. Many believe that she was also the only woman officially commissioned in the Confederate Army.

She is best-remembered for privately sponsoring a hospital in Richmond, Virginia to treat soldiers wounded in the Civil War. Under her supervision she had the lowest death rate of any hospital Union or Confederate, during the Civil War. Whatever her devotion and work she has been remembered as the “Angel of the Confederacy" 

At nearly 28 years old, Sally was among the civilians who responded by opening the home of Judge John Robertson as a hospital In Richmond. . Judge Robertson had taken his family to the countryside for safety and left his home to Sally to use as a hospital for as long as she needed. Sally was not alone in this effort. A number of ladies from the Saint James Episcopal Church volunteered their time and finances to keep the hospital running. These women were collectively known as “The Ladies of Robertson Hospital.”

The Robertson Hospital, as it was known, treated patients continuously throughout the war, discharging its last soldier on 13 June 1865. During its four-year existence, Robertson Hospital treated 1,334 wounded with only seventy-three deaths, the lowest mortality rate of any military hospital during the Civil War.

Since Sally and a number of the other ladies had remained constant at the hospital through the war, they ultimately won the love and respect of their patients. Despite her plainness, Sally faced a number of marriage proposals from former patients out of gratitude for what she had done, all of which she declined. More than 1,300 men fortunate to be sent to Robertson Hospital called her simply "Captain Sally.”