Zion Methodist Church

Zion Methodist Church (HM1VM)

Location: Spotsylvania, VA 22553 Spotsylvania County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 11.637', W 77° 35.191'

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The Edge of the Storm

— Lee vs. Grant - The 1864 Campaign —

Virginia churches suffered heavily in the Civil War, being used by contending armies as headquarters, hospitals and barracks. Zion Church was no exception. In August 1862, Union soldiers stopped briefly at the church during an expedition to southern Spotsylvania County. Within minutes, wrote a Union soldier, the quiet meeting house became "a perfect bedlam?filled with soldiers, some scuffling, some whistling, some playing cards on the little plain table in front of the pulpit, while one independent gentleman in his shirt sleeves occupies the minister's chair in the pulpit and is engaged in?combing his hair."

Worse was yet to come. In May 1864, Union and Confederate armies fought at nearby Spotsylvania Court House. As the shifting battle lines moved southward, Zion Church found itself in the center of the conflict. Gens. Robert E. Lee and A.P. Hill met with officers at the church, while in the upstairs gallery Southern signal men equipped with high-powered telescopes kept a vigilant watch on Union troops one mile east of here.

The commotion around the church did not go unnoticed. Union gunners, noting the activity, peppered the building with shot and shell. "During our stay there," recalled one Southern signalman, "every glass in the window was broken out by shells and Minie Balls."

(Caption of picture on right): The tombstone of Corporal Thomas A. Harris, one of three Confederate soldiers buried at Zion Church. Harris's regiment, the 9th Virginia Cavalry, screened the Confederate army's right flank at Spotsylvania and engaged Union troops at Myers Hill.
HM NumberHM1VM
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, October 9th, 2014 at 3:14pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 273491 N 4230497
Decimal Degrees38.19395000, -77.58651667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 11.637', W 77° 35.191'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 11' 38.22" N, 77° 35' 11.46" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)540
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 8700 Courthouse Rd, Spotsylvania VA 22553, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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