A "Picture of Desolation"

A "Picture of Desolation" (HM2J0)

Location: Fredericksburg, VA 22405
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 18.522', W 77° 27.377'

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" Tis a perfect picture of desolation, and a sad illustration of the ravages of war."
? ? ? ? ?—Newspaper correspondent, 1863

Union soldiers loll around Chatham in this February 1863 photograph. The scene here was not always so peaceful. Two months earlier, during the Battle of Fredericksburg, soldiers and wagons crowded the grounds; generals issued orders from the porch; surgeons converted the building's interior into a field hospital. More than one hundred and thirty soldiers who died from their wounds received a hasty burial on the grounds.

The Union occupation devastated Chatham and surrounding Stafford County. It would take decades to recover.

Every wall and floor is saturated with blood, and the whole houseeems to have been suddenly transformed into a butcher's shamble. The clock has stopped; the child's rocking horse is rotting away in a disused balcony; the costly exotics in the garden are destroyed?.All that was elegant is wretched; all that was noble is shabby; all that once told of civilized elegance now speaks of ruthless barbarism."
? ? ? ? ? - The Continental Monthly, 1863
HM NumberHM2J0
Placed ByFredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park, National Park Service
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 at 9:49am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 285236 N 4242921
Decimal Degrees38.30870000, -77.45628333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 18.522', W 77° 27.377'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 18' 31.32" N, 77° 27' 22.62" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)540
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 100 Chatham Dr, Fredericksburg VA 22405, US
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