ON THIS DAY IN UNITED STATES HISTORY
December 26, 1862
The USS Red Rover is Commissioned by the
U.S. Navy as the First Navy Hospital Ship
On this day in 1862, the USS Red Rover was commissioned as the first U.S. Navy hospital ship. The USS Red Rover was originally purchased by the Confederacy for use as a barracks ship but was then captured in April, 1862 by Union forces and converted.
The USS Red Rover was a 625-ton side-wheel river steamer. Its medical department was staffed with both military medical personnel and civilians volunteers including four Nuns who served as nurses.
The USS Red Rover sailed the Mississippi River during the Civil War and treated 2,947 patients over a three-year period until she was sold at public auction in 1865.