Presbyterian Church of Fredericksburg
#NC-08220-WP - Notecards
Also available in Assortment Pack #AST-790
Church of Fredericksburg was formally organized in 1808. The first
building was a small frame structure built at the corner of Amelia
and Charles Streets on land given by Ann Mercer Patton.
By 1832 the
congregation had outgrown the original building and a new sanctuary,
the present church, was constructed at the corner of George and
Princess Anne Streets on land donated by John Spotswood Wellford
and Hugh Mercer Patton. The building was dedicated on July 26,
1833. The Amelia Street site of the original church was used to
build the Female Orphan Asylum. Funds from the subsequent sale
of that property are still administered by a board of women members
of the church.
fared badly during the Civil War. The church bell was given to
the Confederacy to be melted down for cannon. In December 1862,
when the town was subjected to fierce artillery bombardment prior
to the Battle of Fredericksburg, the church was heavily shelled.
Later the church was used as a hospital. It was here that Clara
Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, first came to care
for the Union wounded. The church still bears the scars of battle
where two cannon balls were embedded in one of its pilasters.
The year 1864
brought the most serious devastation. Federal stragglers and wounded
poured into Fredericksburg from the fearsome fighting around Spotsylvania.
The church interior was sacked, the pews used for coffins, and
the roof partially destroyed. The close of the war found the congregation
scattered, without a pastor, and the building in ruins.By
1866, a new pastor had been called, and the sanctuary was rebuilt,
largely through funds donated by friends in the North. The bell
was replaced in 1870.
In 1976, the
church building was named to the American Presbyterian/Reformed
Sites Registry by the Presbyterian Historical Society. A plaque
so stating was dedicated on Sunday, July 4, 1976.
© 1996 Dianne Harrah, Drawing © 1996 Bill Harrah