Army Hospital Established in Keokuk

A hotel in Keokuk, the Estes House, was converted into a hospital for wounded Civil War soldiers in 1862.


Hospitals on the battlefront did what they could for the wounded, but many soldiers were sent north to hospitals closer to home. In 1862 an army hospital was established in Keokuk. Local citizens were given only four days to prepare for 296 sick and wounded soldiers. Bedding, cots, cooking utensils and other necessities were quickly collected and a five year old hotel, The Estes House, was soon converted into the main unit of the hospital complex. Keokuk General Hospital eventually consisted of 16 wards with over 1,300 beds.


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