A Place of Rest for Our Gallant Boys is the story of both Civil War horrors and hope – of Army surgeons and civilians risking their own lives to save others. It is the story of heroes and heroines who worked tirelessly in the wards of a military hospital to heal sick and broken soldiers’ bodies.
Gallipolis, Ohio, was uniquely situated to become a hospital site. Its proximity to early Civil War battles in western Virginia and location on the Ohio River made it an ideal place to receive patients arriving via steamboat from remote battlefields and field hospitals. The people who cared for the ailing warriors came from all quarters: a young teacher who switched to nursing when hospital cots filled her classroom; a New England surgeon who survived Confederate capture and a bloody Southern battle to take charge of the Army hospital; a hospital steward who nursed his regimental comrade back from the brink of death, and how together they ended up treating casualties in Gallipolis.