War brought profound changes to the Chandler family, Fairfield, and the slaves who toiled on the plantation. Three of Thomas Chandler's sons enlisted in the Confederate army. When the Union army occupied Fredericksburg in 1862 many of Chandler's slaves seized freedom, leaving the family without its customary workforce.
In December 1862 the Confederates established a major supply depot at Guinea Station, just a few hundred yards from Fairfield's back door. Camps sprawled across the plantation. Stonewall Jackson himself camped here for a week, declining the Chandler's offer to stay in the house. Instead he pitched a tent nearby.
By 1863 Chandler had had enough: he sold Fairfield. But before the Chandlers could move away, Fairfield's most famous visitor would return yet again - this time not to camp but to die. Jackson's death here propelled the plantation to a fame it had never known.
(caption of picture): Jackson arrived at Fairfield for the last time on May 4, 1863. By then the plantation was a vast camp, crowded with thousands of Union prisoners and Confederate wounded.
Comments 0 comments