A community project of the Dolley Madison Garden Club 

In 1862 as the Northern troops moved ever closer to Manassas, doctors charged with treating battle injured moved to the small town of Gordonsville, Virginia. Here, near the active fighting at Cedar Mountain, Mine Run and other battles, they located a strategic triage hospital at a rail line which could quickly carry the injured from battlefield and to long term treatment facilities in Richmond and further south. The facility eventually covered one hundred acres and occupied over forty buildings and tents as well as a separate pestilence house for the soldiers needing treatment for disease, including a smallpox epidemic in 1962 and 1863.  
In the first year of operation alone 23,000 soldiers received care. Over 75, 000 soldiers were treated here from 1862 to the end of the war in 1865. The facility had doctors for amputations and other surgeries, but there were few nurses, leaving many to be cared for by slaves or by more able soldiers who helped the less fortunate.  
As the war progressed, the shortage of traditional medicines became acute because of lack of resources and increased effectiveness of the Northern blockade. Dr. Moore, then Surgeon General of the Confederate States of America, published ”Standard Supply Table of the Indigenous Remedies for Field Service and the Sick in General Hospitals”, listing local plants which could be used as treatment. He stated 

“When medicines cannot be procured from the Purveyors, or when they are deficient in quantity, Medical Officers are instructed to make requisition for such indigenous preparations as will supply the deficiencies. The interests of the government which they serve, and the importance of relying upon the internal resources of their own country, should prompt the adoption, as far as practicable, of these remedies as substitutes for articles which now can be obtained only by importation.”  

Most of these herbs were readily available in surrounding forests, fields, and gardens of local housewives. Based on this and other research on homeopathic medicine used in the mid nineteenth century, the Dolley Madison Garden Club constructed a representative garden of these herbs, many of which were supplied from the gardens of members—as would have been so many years ago.   
Freemon, Frank, Gangrene and Glory: Medical Care during the American Civil War, University of Illinois Press, Urbana, 2001
Grieve, M., A Modern Herbal, 2nd ed., Barnes & Nobel, New York, 1973
Mescher, Virginia, Historic Uses of Herbs in the Mid-Nineteenth Century and Home Remedies, Burke VA, Nature’s Finest ,1993 
Meyer, Joseph E, The Herbalist, 4th ed., New York, Rand McNally, 1960
Mitchell, Patricia B, Civil War Plants and Herbs, Chatham, VA, 1996
Surgeon General’s Office, “Standard Supply Table of the Indigenous Remedies for Field Service and the Sick in General Hospitals”, Richmond Virginia, March, 1863

Committee Members: Suzanne Aiello, Bobbye Davies, Frances Lea

  1. FOXGLOVE-Digitalis purpurea: wounds-cardiac
 2. GOLDENROD-Solidago virgaurea: hemorrhage
 3. YARROW-Achillea millefolium: excessive bleeding
 4. LADY’S MANTLE Alchemilla vulgaris: vomiting, inflammations
 5. CHAMOMILE-Anthemis nobilis: delirium; sedative
 6. HYSSOP-Hyssopus officinalis: liver disease, tonic
 7. TANSY- Tanacetum vulgare: gout, hysteria
 8. MINT-Mentha viridis: nausea
 9. SORREL-Rumex acetosa: diuretic
 10. BEE BALM –Monarda didyma: nausea, vomiting
 11. SALVIA-Salvia guaranitica: fever
 12. YARROW-Achillea millefolium: bleeding, tonic
 13. LAMB’S EARS- Stachys byzantina-bandages
 14. LAVENDER-Labiatae: tonic, nerves
 15. SAGE - Salvia officinalis: sore throat; fevers
 16. COMFREY - Symphytum officinale : dysentery, boils

In 2015 the Dolley Madison Garden Club completed a Community Project at the Exchange Hotel in Gordonsville. The following pictures are an example of the work that was done and the description of the project follows. Please visit the Exchange Hotel when you are next in Gordonsville. 
Rose Show Report

The Dolley Madison Garden Club Rose Horticulture team descended on Hampton Tuesday, October 4, full of vim, vigor, and vitality but with fewer flowers than we would have liked. Our gardens had been soaked with rain for four days preceding our departure, so rose buds had not developed, and existing blooms were soaked and tired. It was slim pickings. Nevertheless, Gail Babnew, Joanna Davies, Carla Passarello, Pam Brady, and Bernice Walker found a few roses to take. Normie Sanford sent some entries also. We were disappointed that more of our members did not send entries for the ‘companion plants’ classes. Joining us in Hampton was Bernice’s daughter, Susan, who lives in Virginia Beach. Susan’s job was to help Bernice, whose back issue limited her walking.

Pat Filer had made our Interclub entry, a Biedermeier arrangement , but she was not able to go to the show. With a good bit of trembling and fear, we, the horticulture team, took responsibility for transporting and entering Pat’s gorgeous arrangement. Bernice quickly assigned the duty to Joanna, who bravely and expertly nursed it to the show floor. Pat’s arrangement received compliments from several people in the workroom. Unfortunately, the judges liked other entries better than ours.

Overall, the artistic division was exquisite! The 65 arrangements really carried the day. The horticulture division, though, was tiny! Pam Powers, who was the speaker at Dolley Madison’s October meeting last year at Gail Babnew’s house, brought a ton of entries and won everything! Without Pam’s entries, it would have been a poor showing. It looked as if GCV member clubs deserted the show before it ever opened.

Here is how our members did in the rose division. Normie Sanford got one red. Joanna Davies got one red. Gail Babnew got a blue ribbon and a silver trophy for her ‘Best Modern Shrub’  This means her entry was the Best in the Show in the modern shrub category. She also got four additional blue ribbons, one red, and one yellow. In addition, Gail provided the flowers for our club entry in the club collection class, and we won the blue!! Thank you, Gail! Bernice’s only hybrid tea entry became “King” of the showThis means it was the second best hybrid tea in the show, the Queen being the best. In addition to this blue ribbon entry, Bernice Walker won three other blue ribbons, four reds, one yellow and one white. 

In the new division of the show that called for rose ‘companion plants’ because they have properties that repel rose pests, we also won ribbons. Normie Sanford won a blue, Joanna Davies won a yellow, Carla Passarello got one blue, and two reds, and a yellow, and Pam Brady won two blues. 

Even though we didn’t have many roses this year we had a lot of fun. Our most important accomplishment was to introduce our new member, Pam Brady, to the world of flower shows. As it turned out, Susan Walker, enjoyed her time with the five of us. She said prepping flowers for the show was fun and informative; and Lord knows, she was helpful. Both Pam and Susan said they learned a lot, and we were so pleased to have them with us.

Respectfully submitted,
Bernice Walker
Rose Committee Chair

Gail Babnew  with best modern shrub

Pat Filer's wonderful arrangement
Bernice Walker with  "King" of the show!!! 
Examples of the entrants for Inter Club arrangements. 
2016 Zinnia Show and Club Picnic
For the exhibit at the Virginia Museum of Fine Art in October we picked this painting of a desolate landscape. The artist Anson Keifer, used paint, tar, straw and a metal wing, being the sign of hope. We used a metal stand and a black ceramic container for water with painted Harry Lauder Walking Stick and hosta leaves. Also we took straw and wound wire around it to make the straw spathes. Added white calla lilies with brown stem wrap around the stems to make them look less obvious. The wing is a dried calla leaf.  By Annie Vanderwarker/Joanne Davies DMGC