Day 22-23 Fredericksburg, Virginia   Leave a comment

Fredericksburg, Virginia, has a beautiful historic district.

We passed by the home of Mary, the mother of George Washington. George Washington actually surveyed that particular area so each site would have his signature on the original survey. He bought this house for his mother where she lived near her daughter, Betty, the last 17 years of her life.

Chatham was built between 1768 and 1771. It was used by the Union army during the war as a hospital, headquarters, and even a stable. During the Civil War, it was referred to as the Lacy House after its owner J. Horace Lacy, who was one of Stafford County’s most prominent Confederates. By the time the Civil War ended in 1865, Chatham was desolate. Bloodstains spotted the floors; graffiti marred its bare plaster walls. Outside, the destruction was just as severe. The surrounding forests had been cut down for fuel; the lush gardens had been trampled out of existence; and the lawn had become a graveyard. Although the Lacy’s returned to their home, they were unable to maintain it properly. They sold the house in 1872. After many owners, it was finally restored in the 1920s by Daniel and Helen Devore. It was again among Virginia’s finest homes.

Below is a photo of the house “in its day.”

Gotta love our guests!

For three days during the battle of Fredericksburg, Union soldiers stubbornly clung to their position in front of the stone wall, which was an open field, pinned down by Confederate riflemen in the Sunken Road. Some Union soldiers lying in the swale tried to protect themselves by pushing dirt in front of them. Others sought shelter behind the bodies of fallen comrades while the Confederates were protected by a waist-high stone wall.

Riding out ahead of his own lines to investigate enemy positions, Stonewall Jackson was wounded (by one of his own men!) in the right hand and left arm. He was taken to a field hospital where they treated his hand and amputated his left arm. His left arm is buried at Ellwood (The Lacy House)

He was taken by wagon to a farm near Guinea Station. He developed pneumonia and died 6 days later, on May 10, 1863.

The house where he died is set up as a shrine to him and the bed he died in is exactly as it was the day of his death. He was buried in Lexington, Virginia.


Posted May 17, 2013 by carolnbill in Adventure Caravans, RV, Travel, Uncategorized

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