It wasn’t long after opening their Confederate soldiers’ homes that management realized how much medical care the aging ex-Confederates needed.
Home inmates were, by and large, men who had had little access to (or ability to pay for) quality medical care. Many were rural men, and some still suffered the effects of long-ago war wounds.
Confederate homes located in more urban areas—Georgia's, Virginia's, Texas'—arranged with nearby clinics or hospitals to care for inmates needing extensive medical care. Other homes—Kentucky's, Missouri's, Florida's—were forced to build and equip their own medical facilities.
The Kentucky legislature was pretty generous, appropriating $20,000 to build a 48-room mini-hospital, complete with operating suites and recovery rooms. Florida’s lawmakers weren’t quite so free-handed. Florida Bill 5445 (No. 74) appropriated $1,000 “for the erection and fitting up of a hospital for the Confederate Home at Jacksonville”.
The amount was an insult to the Confederate veterans, one newspaper editor opined. “We may as well erect a tent for our sick and injured and fit it out with a sewing kit.”
(See Ocala (Fla.) Banner, August 18, 1905.)