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‘Captain Sally’ returns to Mathews County

Almost 100 years after she passed away, Capt. Sally Tompkins returned to Mathews County.


Civil War reenactor Rosemary Thoburn of Vienna, a young woman who has been portraying the “Angel of the Confederacy” for the past four years, brought “Captain Sally” back to life for an hour on Saturday night in a program sponsored by the Mathews County Sesquicentennial Committee.


People packed the historic courthouse to hear Thoburn, speaking as Tompkins, tell of the Mathews County native’s struggle to keep a military hospital running in Richmond through four years of bloody conflict.


Tompkins, who was born at Poplar Grove, founded and directed Robertson Hospital in downtown Richmond, a facility that treated more than 1,300 Confederate soldiers between 1861 and 1865. Of that total, only 73 patients died under her care, a survival rate that made Robertson Hospital the envy of the rest of the Confederate Medical Service.



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