This simple and sturdy edifice, constructed in 1844, is typical of the brick churches which rural Baptists build around Fredericksburg in the mid-19th century. During the campaign of November and December, 1862, the building sheltered refugees from Fredericksburg and later served to store their furniture. On May 3 and 4, 1863, it had a brief but significant life as a Confederate fortress and lent its name forever to this battlefield. Then, when the battle was over, it became a crowded hospital. Old Salem Church remained a Baptist sanctuary until 1955, when the congregation built the new church just beyond the cemetery. The cemetery itself was established in 1899.