Salem Church

Salem Church (HM1QE)

Location: Fredericksburg, VA 22407
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 17.322', W 77° 31.853'

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Spotsylvania Baptists built this church in 1844 and named it Salem, a Biblical word meaning peace. Two decades later, Salem Church was engulfed by war. Initially the church had just 29 members, but by 1859 the number had risen to 77, 20 of whom were black. Black worshippers entered the church through a separate door - still visible to your left - that led to a separate gallery. White members entered through the main entrance, women to the left, men to the right.

The Civil War wreaked havoc on Salem Church. Members returning in 1866 found bloodstained floors, bullet-scarred walls, and more than 100 bodies buried on the grounds. Undeterred, they refurbished the property and resumed worship services here. In time the church's needs outgrew the building, and its members erected a new building next door. They donated the older structure to the National Park Service in 1961.

(Caption, main picture): Battle damage is still visible on the east wall, in front of you. A thunderbolt rather than a cannonball created the crack that appears in this 1884 image of Salem Church. This photo was taken about 200 feet to your right.

(Caption, upper right picture ): The Reverend Melzi Chancellor ministered to both Salem Church and Wilderness Baptist Church at the time of the war. His house, known as Dowdall's Tavern, sixe miles west of here, became a landmark on the Chancellorsville Battlefield.
HM NumberHM1QE
Series This marker is part of the Battlefield Trails - Civil War series
Placed ByFredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, National Park Service
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 at 3:00am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 278652 N 4240877
Decimal Degrees38.28870000, -77.53088333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 17.322', W 77° 31.853'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 17' 19.32" N, 77° 31' 51.18" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)540
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 5568-5598 Norris Dr, Fredericksburg VA 22407, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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