Photo taken in Gordonsville Va.

photos on blog are mine unless stated otherwise. please ask before using. Thanks - Betsy

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Chatham - 2

Continuing the sharing of what I have learned from my visit to Chatham.

James Lacy married the niece of Churchill Jones and owned Chatham during the war years. He served the Confederacy as a staff officer at 37.  His wife and children were forced to leave the house in 1862 by Union Soldiers.  Using Pontoon bridges - General Ambrose Burnside brought his 120,000  man army of the Potomac to Fredericksburg.  Crossing the Rappahannock river below Chatham - seized Fredericksburg.  Lees Confederates suffered  bloody attacks.   Along with the Union defeat of Fredericksburg was 12,600 casualties suffered by Burnside.  Many of them brought back to Chatham for care.   Hundreds of Army soldiers were operated on inside the house.  Two of the volunteers assisting the surgeons - Clara Barton, who later founded the American Chapter of the International Red Cross and poet Walt Whitman who came searching for a brother who was wounded in the fighting.  
Whitman notes that  outside at the base of a tree,the amputated limbs,  about enough to load a one horse cart, and bodies of soldiers wrapped in their blankets.
  130 or more Union Soldiers died at Chatham and buried there.

Amputated limbs were thrown from the window and landed at the base of this tree.

After the war, bodies were taken to the cemetery in Fredericksburg   Three bodies were  found later and buried at Chatham.
The Lacys  returned home after the war and found blood stained floors , marred plaster walls with graffiti and forest cut down for fuel.
Their yard - a graveyard.   Chatham was sold in 1872 and the Lacy family moved to their other home - Ellwood,  Stonewall Jackson's arm is buried there.
Many sales later and in 1920's , Daniel and Helen Devore bought Chatham , restored and made changes.  
John Pratt an industrialist purchased the house in 1931 and willed the 12,000 square foot mansion  to the Park service..

The limb trees in distance at the end of side walk are in front of room where injured were cared for and amputations took place - left side of pix

original entrance roads wind down the bluff to the river

On the front of the home(original entrance) there used to be a two story Greek revival style porches
Outline of porches are still visible today 

In 1984 restoration had begun on the colonial revival east garden
The walls, columns and statues represent this period

green house 1900


  1. Thank you for your nice words and for this so interesting trip!!! Chatham is an enchanting place rich of history!!!
    Have a nice evening Betsy!

  2. Thank You Les Cotrions. So true, enchanting is a good word to describe Chatham.

  3. Hi Betsy..... I was pleased to have you visit and leave a comment, thank you.

    I’ve enjoyed reading about your visit to Chatham... what an interesting, if rather gruesome history it has.... and you’ve taken some great pictures. The picture of the two knarled trees is amazing.... what stories those trees could tell. I like the wooden seated arch that straggles the brick path..... and the Victorian greenhouse is wonderful.... just imagine having a garden large enough for that. Lovely interesting post - thank you. Marion

  4. Betsy, thanks for visiting my blog! Surprisingly, we have not caught any of those raccoons and it's day 2 with the traps!!! I think they are out smarting us:) I really hope we don't have to do it ourselves...SCARY!!! By the way love reading about your trips to Fredericksburg, sounds so interesting. Rhonda

  5. Thak you so very much for your visit. I enjoyed my visit here as well. I enjoyed my photo tour you provided. Love all the historical pictures. I've never been there, looks like a great place to stroll and meander slowly. You have some nice relaxing music playing also and what a nice quote about beautiful and so true.


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