Thursday, November 05, 2009

First Hospital Ship 1862

The first hospital ship used during war time, came into service during the American Civil War.

The USS Mound City had captured the "Red Rover" from the Confederates on 7 April 1862 and the ship was later turned into a hospital ship, USS Red Rover on the Mississippi.

The ships medical crew included a complement of Catholic Sisters of the Holy Cross nurses and a section Afro-American nurses.

Renamed the hospital ship "Red Rover" she was placed in service of the U.S. Army's Western Gunboat Flotilla in June 1862. Hospital Ship "Red Rover" served on the Mississippi in this role through the summer of 1862,

We know the names of at least four nurses -
Alice Kennedy, Sarah Kinno, Ellen Campbell and Betsy Young.

The nursing staff aboard the "Red Rover" represented the first US Navy nurses and some of the first recognised Afro American nurses