I was inspired by a post from a fellow blogger that made me think of the old historic Salem Church in Fredericksburg, Virginia, where intense American Civil War fighting occurred over May 3rd and 4th of 1863, during the Battle of Chancellorsville. The church was used as a hospital to attempt to help the wounded. Over 4,000 men were killed or wounded during the battle.
Here are some pictures of the church followed by my piece.
Salem Church was built in 1844. The date of this image is unknown.
A present day view of Salem Church.
The scars still remain from the intense fighting that occurred here on May 3rd and 4th of 1863.
(A sign outside of the Fairfield Plantation that tells the history of the farm including its role in the Civil War. There is also an overview of the layout as well as a picture of the Farm Office and Main House from around the 1900s.)
Just off exit 118 on I-95 near Fredericksburg, Virginia, is the remnants of Fairfield Plantation. The 740 acre plantation was purchased by Thomas Coleman Chandler in 1845. Today, the plantation is much smaller and is now known as the Stonewall Jackson Shrine. The Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson was shot by one of his own soldiers on May 2, 1863, at the Battle of Chancellorsville and taken by ambulance to Fairfield Plantation, where he died of pneumonia eight days later on May 10, 1863, in the Farm Office.
The shrine is open to the public and is now part of the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park controlled by the National Park Service. Visitors can tour the Farm Office and visit with the Park Ranger whom is on duty. Most of the furniture in the office is either original to it or correct for the time period. The room where Jackson died is setup as it was during the Civil War period, including the actual blanket that was on his bed at the time of death. I’ve actually visited a couple of times and spoken with the Park Rangers to learn more about the area. The plantation’s parcel of land was cut up after the Civil War and sold with most of the land being bought by a railroad company. What amazed me the most was that the Farm Office and surrounding buildings (now no longer there) had laid dormant for what I believe the Ranger had said was close to 50 years, if not more, and no one vandalized or destroyed them. I was simply in shock that this could occur because in today’s age it seems like anything not nailed down will be stolen, not to mention the amount of graffiti and destruction that is levied on abandoned buildings and cars. The Ranger told me that the area and buildings where revered as the death place of General Jackson. People had great respect for the General and did not want to disturb the area. It was really satisfying to hear this.click here to continue reading!