Civil War register of sick and wounded U.S. General Hospital Portsmouth Grove RI.
An item recently found in the collection is a Civil War register of sick and wounded from Ward No. 4 of the U. S. General Hospital in Portsmouth Grove, RI. Included in the list of “Citizen Nurses” is Cornelius T. Allen, as Chief Nurse and Pardon S. Allen, both of Westport. Both started nursing for the war in September 1862 and transferred to Ward No. 4 October 1, 1862.
Cornelius T. Allen was a hospital nurse, who contracted with the Army to work for one year from September, 1862, at the U. S. General Hospital in Portsmouth Grove, RI. He was born July 24, 1821 to Green and Phebe (Sanford), making him an uncle to Albert Allen. Cornelius was a blacksmith before the war, married, and the father of three children – Ferdinand, Asa B., and Georgiana – when he enlisted. He had sufficient wealth and age that he would never have been drafted; it was for patriotism and compassion that he nursed. After the war he continued to blacksmith in the shop beside his house at 1813 Main Road, both built originally in 1806 by Gideon Taber. He died in 1905, aged 84, and was buried in the Point Cemetery.
Pardon S. Allen was a hospital nurse, who contracted with the Army to work for one year from September, 1862, at the U. S. General Hospital in Portsmouth Grove, RI. Born in 1838 as the youngest child of Gideon and Almira, he had the misfortune that his father died the same year, “presumed to have been lost at sea.” Pardon was a clerk and lived with his widowed mother before the War. By the standards of the day she had considerable wealth in both real estate and personal property. She owned both 2033 and 2037 Main Road, which, with 2031, had formed an Allen family “compound” for many years. During the War Pardon bought total ownership of 2037 from his siblings. Though he later lived and worked and was buried in Providence, he kept the house, and he and Josephine, his wife, willed it to Annie M. B. (Wilkins) and Bertha G. (Johnson). Bertha lived there and had a famed antique shop in the rear shed.
Biographies taken from “Westporters and the Civil War” by Andrew C. Macomber and Richard W. Wertz.