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Brompton

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Title

Brompton

Description

This manor was built by John L. Marye in 1824 and added onto in 1836.

General Wartime Significance: "Brompton was a prominent landmark on the Confederate front line during the December 1862 and May 1863 Battles of Fredericksburg. In May 1864, the house was the site of a hospital for the wounded of the Union Ninth Corps' Second Division. On May 19 or 20, 1864, Northern photographers produced at least seven images of Brompton and the men receiving treatment there. One of these photographs were destined to be published and otherwise publicized as a classic illustration of the suffering of soldiers wounded in battle.

Wartime Description: In May 1864, Brompton was converted to a hospital for Union soldiers wounded in the Battles of Wilderness and Spotsylvania Court House. A Northern physician described their sufferings: In one corner, upon a stretcher, lay a soldier...He was wounded through the lungs, and breathed only with sharp stitches of pain...Another lad, in the corner...was slowly wasting away. We kept him alive with stimulants...Upon the same floor, only a little apart from the rest, in a store-room, lay a soldier in the last agonies of death- a poor, mutilated remnant of a man, and a most loathsome sight. His case was too bad to be placed with others, and he was laid carefully upon such ragged garments as we could collect for a bed, not enough to keep his shattered frame from the floor... Even the entries of this old mansion were crowded with sick and dying men. No available space was left unoccupied. The poor fellows just arrived had not had their clothes off since they were wounded, and were sleeping in blood and filth, and were swarming with vermin. They lay as close as they could be packed, the contaminated air growing worse every hour. The openings in the torn and battered walls assisted somewhat in ventillation...In a group of four Indian sharpshooters, in one corner of this entry, each with the loss of...and arm at the shoulder, of a leg at the knee, or with an amputation of the thigh, never was patience more finely illustrated. They neither spoke nor moaned...Monday, the 23d of May, 1864, was a most lovely day. The breeze came fresh and cool from the north; the air was pure and clear; the sky perfectly cloudless...It was a day for the convalescents, and it seemed as if those who were near to death must be revived by the delicious softness of the bracing air. We moved then out of the stifiling rooms to the lawn...a grand old oak...gave shelter to nearly fifty men... --Reed"

Harrison, Noel G. Fredericksburg Civil War Sites:Volume Two, December 1862-April 1865. Lynchburg, VA: H.E. Howard, 1995. pages 141-147

Today, Brompton is now owned by the University of Mary Washington and is the private residence of its president.


Source

Lauren Milner

Date

2010

Still Image Item Type Metadata

Files

Citation

"Brompton," in Fredericksburg: City of Hospitals, Item #63, http://projects.umwhistory.org/cwh/items/show/63 (accessed October 17, 2017).

Added by lauren