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Showing posts with label Civil War. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Civil War. Show all posts

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Civil War Cannonballs Stuck in Walls, 150 years Later-- Fredericksburg, Virginia

One of the really cool things about Fredericksburg, Virginia is the visible reminders of the Civil War all over the area.  Below are two examples of these reminders that are right in plain sight, yet if you don't know what your looking for, you will completely miss them.

The Presbyterian Church on Princess Anne in downtown Fredericksburg, was founded in 1808. This church is the site of where General Robert E. Lee and General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson planned the Battle of Fredericksburg. After the battle, the church was used as a hospital. During the aftermath of the battle, Clara Barton, later founder of the Red Cross, volunteered at the field hospital in the sanctuary to care for wounded soldiers.

  A cursory look shows a typical church. 
A closer look shows two Union cannon balls which remain embedded in one of the front pillars as a reminder of the 1862 Battle of Fredericksburg. 

I was curious as to if the cannon balls had really been present in their current places since the war.  I found these two old photos dating back to at least the 1920's in which two small black dots can be seen in the same places. 


Kenmore Plantation, built in 1775, was the home of Fielding Lewis and his wife Betty Washington Lewis (George Washington's sister). Later damaged during the Battle of Fredericksburg, the building is still marked by a Union cannonball which remains embedded in an outer wall.

Supporting the authenticity of this cannonball, the 1920 photo below does show a black dot in the exact same place as the current cannonball. 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

1863 -- Battle of Chancellorsville, 149 Years Later

In late April and early May, 1863, several bloody battles occurred in the Chancellorsville, Virginia Area.  We've been through the area many times, but today, on the 149th anniversary of the Union Armies withdrawal, we finally stopped to take it in.  
By May 3, 17,500 men had been killed or wounded in the battle.  One marker notes there had been one man shot every second, for 5 hours!   Union lines collapsed and the Confederates seized the prized Chancellorsville intersection, a five road intersection considered the most famous in the country at the time. 

Like many Civil War Battlefields, several canons are placed on the site. 
Union trenches which were eventually over run by Confederates. 
After almost 150 years, the actual dirt trench is are still visible to the left.
All that is left of the Chancellor House is bits of foundation and a partial fireplace.  

This victory by General Robert E. Lee is considered by many to be the greatest of his career. After Lee triumphantly arrived at the Chancellor House during the ensuing celebration, one staff officer wrote:

"...It must have been from such a scene 
that men in ancient days rose to the dignity of gods." 

Still canons guard the now silent battlefield.