1863: William S. Hall to Physician at Harewood Hospital

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Rev. William S. Hall, Pastor of North Baptist Church in Philadelphia

This letter was written by Rev. William S. Hall (1809-1867), the pastor of the North Baptist Church in 8th Street above Master Street in Philadelphia. Rev. Hall’s residence was at 1502 Franklin Street in Philadelphia. He was a widower—his wife, Massie Ann Rose, died in 1842.

Rev. Hall wrote this letter to the doctor in charge of Ward A at the Harewood Hospital in Washington D. C. who was treating Alfred McClay (1846-1863). Alfred served in Co. E, 114th Pennsylvania (Collis’ Zouaves). He received a gunshot wound in the right thorax during the Battle of Fredericksburg that eventually led to his death on 24 January 1863.

Six months later, Rev. Hall would have to give the funeral sermon for his own 28 year-old son, John F. Hall (1835-1863) who was mortally wounded at Gettysburg while serving in Co. B, 68th Pennsylvania Volunteers.


No. 1502 Franklin Street
Philadelphia, Pa.
January 1st 1863

To the Physician of Ward A, Harewood Hospital, Washington D. C.

My dear sir,

You will please excuse the liberty I am taking in addressing you about a young soldier in Ward A under your care by the name of Alfred McClay. He is a member of my church. Will you be so kind as soon as he able to be removed to permit him to be sent to Philadelphia and if possible to have him transferred to the Hospital [at the] corner of 6th & Master Streets, Philadelphia. Dr. [Paul Beck] Goddard is the physician here in charge. This hospital is near his family, friends, and in the vicinity of my church where we could pay every attention to him. We have 71 young men in the Union army from my church and we feel it our duty and privilege to look after them. And we shall be very thankful to you for any assistance you will render us in this case.

Yours respectfully, — W. S. Hall, Pastor of the North Baptist Church, Philadelphia

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