Improvised Civil War Hospital (Location Key)


"A Rose for Emily" refers to "the battle of Jefferson" (119), and the town was occupied by Yankees who burned the courthouse and the Square. However, the several local engagements between Confederate and Union forces that occur in the Yoknapatawpha fictions - for example, the fight at the Sartoris place mentioned in Requiem for a Nun - are more accurately labeled 'skirmishes.' The only combat casualty connected with any of them is the (invented) death of "Lieutenant P.S. Backhouse" in the (invented) "Battle of Harrykin Creek" ("My Grandmother Millard," 697). But like other southern towns during the Civil War, Jefferson was the site of an "improvised hospital" where the ladies of the community "cleaned and dressed" the wounded soldiers who were shipped there in the aftermath of battles fought elsewhere (Absalom, Absalom!, 99). "Improvised" could mean a structure that was erected for this purpose, like a tent, or an empty building, a store or boarding house, that was used this way. It seems likely that the "Union and Confederate soldiers" with whom Emily shares the cemetery died while in this hospital.

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Improvised Civil War Hospital
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Improvised Civil War Hospital