Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Strange Trees (Updated)

O.K. No more Mr. Nice Guy. These gnarley looking trees were actually alive during the Civil War. They are located on the grounds of an estate that has quite a history in itself. The estate itself dates back to colonial times and was visited by George Washington. It was also visited by Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War. The trunks of these trees are for the most part hollow and these two have had rods placed in them to prevent them from snapping.

What estate grounds are thes tree located on and which Civil War battles took place here?

What kind trees are they?


Catalpa Trees.

These trees are indeed located at Chatham Manor on a hill, across the Rappannock River, overlooking the town of Fredricksburg VA. In April of 1862 Union General Irvin McDowell brought 30,00 troops here to repair the railroads and bridges over the Rappahannock in order to facilitate a march on Richmond. McDowell made Chatham Manor his headquarters. In November of 1862 fighting erupted in Fredericksburg and Union General Ambrose Burnside moved 120,000 troops to quell the rebel onslaught. Chatham Manor again was used as his headquarters. Burnsides men built pontoon Bridges to cross the Rappahannock and soon seized Fredericksburg.

But Lee’s forces held the high ground beyond the town and the Union forces were repeled. It was disastrous for Burnsides' Army as they lost over 12,000 men. Most of the wounded were removed to Chatham Manor, as it was now used as a hospital.

The union Army camped for the winter nearby in Stafford County. In the spring fighting resumed with a major battle at Chancellorsville, and at the same time on the hills around Fredericksburg know as Maryes Heights.

There is much more to Chatham Manor than can be written here. I can tell you from personal experience it is fascinating place to visit as is Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania Co. There is little “battlefield” to see such as Gettysburg except in your minds eye, but the area has a lot to offer non-the less. It is a visit I will make again.

Want to learn more? Check this link:

Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the photo link for the Manor.

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Jocker said...

Ok this is a guess but, are they catalpa trees in front of the Chatham house?

William Carey said...


Jocker said...

If I'm right, four battles in the area were the Battle of Fredericksburg, the Battle of Chancellorsville, the Battle of the Wilderness, and the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House.

Soapbox said...

I gotta find a new war. You guys are too good.

At least Bill Carey cried "uncle"

See the update

Historical Wit said...

Yeah I think your problem is these guys know the civil war to well. Go back to the war of 1812. That one has all kinds of gems related to the Delmarva peninsula.