In 1862 Marcus L. Ward assumed the responsibility for organizing a hospital to treat the trains full of Civil War wounded. He borrowed money from the NJ state government and leased a four-story building. In two days the building was readied for occupancy, complete with hospital equipment. The summer of 1865 saw the closing of the hospital, which was converted into a state soldiers home.
The Ward Hospital was located in several factory and warehouse buildings east of Centre Street, and between the railroad tracks of what is now the freight station of the Pennsylvania Railroad, and the river. The wounded and sick men were brought on from the front or from other hospitals, in trains and moved directly out of the cars into the hospital. The hospital had bed accommodations for 1,400 patients. From the time of its opening until after the close of the war convalescent soldiers were constantly to be seen on Newark streets.
From Clara Maass - a nurse - a hospital - a spirit:
Enthusiasm for the Newark Hospital subsided with the onrush of the Civil War. When trains and ships brought back increasing numbers of wounded soldiers, Br. Marcus L. Ward found them temporary rooms in Newark hotels and private homes. In May, 1862, he started Newark's first hospital in a four story brick warehouse near the railroad. By December, 1862, hundreds of soldiers were in the huge facility. Civilians also were admitted when there was room. Ironically, it had taken war to bring Newark's first hospital.
The Army hospital was transferred near war's end to specially built and extensive facilities on the north side of town.
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