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Baptist Church on Amelia and Princess Anne Streets

Baptist Church on Amelia and Princess Anne Streets

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  • Baptist Church on Amelia and Princess Anne Streets

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Title

Baptist Church on Amelia and Princess Anne Streets

Description

Date of Construction: 1855
Prewar: two stories tall and built of brick. Elaborate examples of the Gothic Revival.
General Wartime: The Baptist Church housed a hospital for the wounded of at least one Union regiment during the 1862 battle, the wounded of at least two regiments of the Union Sixth Corps' First Division and of at least two regiments of the corps' Second Division during the May 1864 Union occupation of Fredericksburg. In addition, the church was the site of a Union signal station during the May 1863 battle.

On a third occasion in May 1864, Union surgeons established a hospital in the Baptist Church. They utilized the baptismal tank as a "bathing tub" and performed operations in "the pastor's small study, back of the pulpit." One of their patients, a member of the 49th Pennsylvania Infantry, described the improvements introduced by members of the United States Sanitary Commission: "They have furnished us with blankets and clothes of all kinds[:] shirts, drawers and all kinds of...cushion rings and ticks [mattresses] to lay on and we got a wagon load of straw and has most of them [mattresses] filled and we fare right in the war of eating and we have plenty of reading matter...When the Sanitary men came here they went round and gave paper and wrote letters for all that wanted any... --Schlesinger

In a subsequent letter, however, the same patient noted that the new comforts did not dispel the pathos which filled the building: "The poor yanks are still dieing [sic]. Some of them dies hard and some of them dies easy. Some came in and got his wounded head dressed and then he fell asleep and never got awake. One died yesterday and before he died he called Miss Wood to him and said that she should write to his father that he was dieing [sic] and he took his pocketbook and hive it to her and then he give all he had and in a short time he was gone. There is one poor one laying by my side he has been dieing [sic] for the last six or eight hours and he is not dead yet nor dont seem to be nearer than he was when he began... I am afraid that he is not prepaired to die. I have heard him sware [sic]...like a trooper and a chaplain came to him...but he cut him off and said he should not bother him. We have a good chaplain here. He is a good speaker as I ever heard. I have seen him talk to a good many of the boys and then kneel down and prey for them... --Schlesinger

Present Condition: The Baptist Church is still standing, and greatly expanded by postwar additions, continues to serve as a house of worship. Although its rehabilitation necessitated patching at least a dozen holes by artillery projectiles, the building was the scene of regular services as early as May 23, 1865.

In 1866-68, workmen disinterred the remains of two Union soldiers at the "Baptist Church" - perhaps from the narrow yard which surrounded it- and moved them to the Fredericksburg National Cemetery. Private Property

From: Fredericksburg Civil War Sites: April 1861-November 1862 by Noel G. Harrison (Lynchburg, VA: H.E. Howard, 1995)

Source

Lauren Milner

Date

2010

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Files

Citation

"Baptist Church on Amelia and Princess Anne Streets," in Fredericksburg: City of Hospitals, Item #138, https://projects.umwhistory.org/cwh/items/show/138 (accessed October 23, 2021).

Added by lauren