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My 3rd-great grand-uncle, Alvis E. Averett enlisted on 5 February 1864, at the age of about 19 years, at Tallassee, Alabama, a town I already know to be near the farm of his father (and my 4th-great grandfather), John Averett (1808—1871). These records begin in February 1864 and end in March 1865. As was the case for his brother, David Averett (1837—1927), there are gaps but they contain information that sheds light on his military service and where he was hospitalized both prior to and after his wounding in action.
Alvis E. Averett was a Private in Company A, 15th Alabama Infantry Regiment, the same Company in which his brother, 1st Sergeant David Averett, served.
He enlisted on 5 February 1864 in Tallassee, Alabama by a Sergeant Averett (almost certainly his brother, David), for the duration of the war.
He was noted present on the Company Muster Roll for January and February, 1864. It was noted that he was due pay from the date of his enlistment.
There is no record in this packet for March and April, 1864.
He was noted present on the Company Muster Roll for May and June, 1864. He had been paid by a Captain Lapsley through 30 April 1864.
His brother, David Averett, also in Company A, was wounded at the Battle of the Wilderness in Spotsylvania County, Virginia on 6 May 1864. Alvis must have been nearby and may have assisted him in reaching medical help. The story I heard when growing up was that David was knocked unconscious when he was struck and was left for dead. When he regained consciousness, he had been blinded (temporarily, it turned out) and he followed the sound of the battle ahead of him to rejoin his unit. Perhaps it was then that Alvis was either made aware that David had been hit or realized that David was still alive. Wherever and whenever it happened, it must have been an emotional moment for both men.
Alvis was noted absent on the Company Muster Roll for July and August, 1864. He had been paid through 30 June 1864 by a Captain Dawson. His absence was due to his presence at “General Hospital” on 24 August 1864. David Averett’s records also mention “General Hospital”. (See Image 6 of 11 in my previous blog post about David’s service records.) There is no mention of battle wounds at this time and I suspect he had been hospitalized due to disease.
The service records for both Alvis and David Averett mention that they had been sent to “General Hospital”. So, where was this hospital? It turns out there were a number of them and there is a very nice web site created by Mr. Mike Gordon called “Civil War Richmond” that provides quite a lot of information about the extensive network of Confederate hospitals in Richmond, Virginia during the Civil War. He includes an index of all the hospitals, along with their locations. It turns out that wounded soldiers were sorted among the hospitals according to their state and there were at least three and possibly four hospitals for Alabama soldiers:
- Alabama Hospital [First] - The Civil War Richmond web site indicates that this hospital was initially located in Manchester, Virginia, which is now apparently a suburb of Richmond. After 1862 it was located at 25th and Franklin Streets (37.529953N -77.420446E), becoming “General Hospital #20”. It closed after June 1863, so neither David (wounded in May 1864) or Alvis Averett (hospitalized in late August 1864 and treated for his wounds in October 1864) would have been treated there.
- Alabama Hospital [Second] - Located at a tobacco factory building at the southwest corner of 25th and Franklin Streets. Mr. Gordon indicates that the hospital was still open in late 1863 and became part of “General Hospital #21”. It closed after September 1863, so neither David nor Alvis Averett would have been treated there.
- Alabama Hospital [Third] - Located at another tobacco factory building at the northwest corner of 21st and Franklin Streets. It was closed after December 1863, so neither David nor Alvis Averett would have been treated there.
- Alabama Hospital [Fourth] - Mr. Gordon indicates that the hospital was mentioned as being open in 1863 but the item has no link to further information. It is possible that David and/or Alvis Averett were treated there.
Next, Alvis’ name appeared on a Register of General Hospital, Howard’s Grove, Richmond, Virginia, having been received on 27 August 1864. This card was from information extracted from the Confederate Archives, Chapter 6, File No. 204, page 194.
The Civil War Richmond web site indicates that the General Hospital at Howard’s Grove was in an area "now confined by the City streets of Mechanicsville Turnpike in the east, Coalter street in the west, Redd Street on the north, and Q Street (extended) on the south [in the vicinity of 37.5442813N -77.41854E], and having an extension east of Mechanicsville Turnpike to 19th Street with T Street on the north and Fairmount Avenue on the south [in the vicinity of 37.544512N -77.416132E]. An annex was located between 21st and 23rd Streets, T Street, and the alley south of Fairmount Avenue” [in the vicinity of 37.542503N -77.412735E].
The Civil War Richmond web site also provides an image of a painting by an unknown Confederate soldier of the General Hospital at Howard’s Grove:
Alvis’ name also appeared on another register of the General Hospital at Howard’s Grove. The card containing this information indicates that he was admitted to the hospital on 27 August 1864 and was furloughed for thirty-five days, dated 22 October 1864. The information was extracted from the Confederate Archives, Chapter 6, File No. 196, page 67. The circumstances of this hospitalization and furlough remain to be determined because information presented below indicates that he was wounded in action on 7 October 1864 at Darbytown, Henrico County, Virginia. Presumably this means he rejoined his unit before the expiration of his furlough.
He was noted absent on the Company Muster Roll for September and October, 1864. He had been paid by a Captain Sanford through 31 August, 1864. This time his absence was due to his presence at the “General Hospital” due to being wounded in action on 7 October 1864.
His named appeared on a 5 March 1865 list of casualties of the 15th Alabama Infantry Regiment, from 6 May 1864 to 5 March 1865. The source of the information on this card was "Series 1, Vol. 36, part 1, page 1060".
This card noted that he had received a slight wound to the hand on 7 October 1864. Of course, “slight” could describe a wide range of degrees of severity. For example, my grandfather, William Obeyn Jackson (1909—1988), was “slightly wounded” (according to the War Department) in August 1944 near St. Malo, France. It took six months to recover from his “slight” wound in England before being sent back to France. He was then transferred from his infantry division and assigned to a Military Police unit.
According to the Muster Roll shown in an earlier post on this blog, Company A had been engaged in a one-day battle at Darbytown, Virginia. Wikipedia indicates that the Battle of Darbytown and New Market Roads in Henrico County, Virginia on that day resulted in “a Confederate withdrawal to Richmond and thus [a] Union victory.” The Wikipedia article indicates that the battle occurred in the vicinity of 37.4576N -77.3467E. The first following map shows the location of the battlefield.
I have also included a second map to make clear the location of the battlefield with respect to modern-day (2014) Richmond. It is about 6.5 miles (as the crow flies) from the battlefield to the vicinity of the Alabama Hospitals in 1864 Richmond.
On 8 October 1864, his name again appeared on a register of the General Hospital, Howard’s Grove. It indicated that he or the register had been “received” on 8 October 1864. The card contains no further clarification. The information was extracted from the Confederate Archives, Chapter 6, File No. 204, page 209.
On 8 October 1864, his name appeared yet again on a register from the General Hospital, Howard’s Grove. The register indicated that he had been furloughed, dated 22 October 1864, for 35 days. This information is from the Confederate Archives, Chapter 6, File No. 193, page 3.
On 10 October 1864, he appeared on a register of the "Receiving and Wayside Hospital, or General Hospital No. 9" in Richmond. This information was taken from the Confederate Archives, Chapter 6, File No. 108, page 10. The register indicated that he had been admitted to the hospital on 9 October 1864. This means that he had been readmitted to the hospital a day after being discharged on furlough for reasons not specified.
According to the Civil War Richmond website Hospital Index, both General Hospitals No. 7 and No. 9 were referred to as the “Receiving and Wayside Hospital”. But the one that was also known as “General Hospital No. 9” was on the "northside of Grace Street between 17th and 18th Streets” [37.5351942N -77.4268745E], according to Confederate Military Hospitals in Richmond, by Robert W. Waitt, Jr., Official Publication #22, Richmond Civil War Centennial Committee, Richmond, Virginia, 1964. The Civil War Richmond web site indicates that this hospital, sited at a warehouse, “functioned as a receiving hospital because of its nearness to [the] Virginia Central Railroad depot”.
The Civil War Richmond web site also provides near-contemporary images of General Hospital No. 9. The first is a photo of "Seabrook’s Warehouse (General Hospital #9), taken shortly after the war”:
The second is a “Harper’s Weekly engraving from 11 November 1865 of the interior of Seabrook’s Warehouse”.
On 17 October, 1864, Alvis signed a receipt roll for clothing at the Howard’s Grove General Hospital. The source of this information is not specified.
His name appeared on a register of the Medical Director’s Office in Richmond, indicating that his hospital was the Howard’s Grove Hospital for the period to 28 October. The source of this information was the Confederate Archives, Chapter 6, File No. 177, page 177. The remarks section was marked “Tallapoosa, Alabama”. It may indicate that he intended to return home to his father’s farm in Tallapoosa County [now Elmore County] in Alabama. Does this mean he was granted another furlough?
Two undated cards also note that his name appeared on a register of General Hospital, Howard’s Grove. The information on them was extracted by the Copyist from
- Confed. Arch., Chap. 6, File No. 200, page 416; and
- Confed. Arch., Chapt 6, File No. 200, page 431.
Finally, on 10 April 1865, his name appeared "on a Roll of Prisoners of War belonging to the Army of Northern Virginia, who have been this day surrendered by General Robert E. Lee, C.S.A., commanding said Army, to Lieut. Genl. U.S. Grant, commanding Armies of the United States. Done at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, April 9, 1865. Roll dated Camp 15 Reg’t Ala. Infty., April 10, 1865.” The only source information on the card was "Number of roll: 21".
According to Fold3.com, the information and the service record images shown below are from Publication No. M311, Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Alabama, National Archives ID 586957, Carded Records Showing Military Service of Soldiers Who Fought in Confederate Organizations, compiled 1903 — 1927, documenting the period 1861—1865, Record Group 109, State of Alabama, Roll 0240, Fifteenth Infantry.