Polk’s Sons of Confederate Veterans remembers female Civil War captain

Published 8:00 pm Thursday, August 25, 2016

As I saw the many medals the women’s team garnered at the Olympics, I was reminded of the women who first broke such barriers.

One such woman was Sally Tomkins. As far as we know, she was the only woman officially commissioned in the Confederate Army. She served as captain of a military hospital in Richmond, Va. Under her leadership, the Robertson Hospital treated 1,334 wounded with only 73 deaths, the lowest mortality rate of any military hospital during the War Between the States.

I learned this interesting tidbit of information at the latest meeting of the Sons of the Confederate Veterans meeting. As a small-time history buff, I find these stories fascinating, and am saddened that year-by-year, we are losing touch with the stories left to us by our ancestors on both sides of this war.

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At the last meeting, Richard Jason Ruff was installed as 2nd Lt. Commander of the Polk Volunteers and a new member was inducted, Don Taylor. The Polk Southern Belles will charter next month. The ladies assist with historical, educational, benevolent and social functions. Both organizations are non-racial, non-political and non-sectarian.

The local group meets the first Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. in the House of Flags in Columbus. Visitors are welcome and applications are available. Men must provide proof of detailed genealogy describing their relationship to the veteran and proof of his service. No proof of direct ancestry required for the ladies!

For more information, contact James McGuinn at jbmcguinn@gmail.com or call 828-447-1606.

– article submitted by Cheryl Taylor