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Massaponax Church
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member La de Boheme
N 38° 11.590 W 077° 30.599
18S E 280192 N 4230225
Quick Description: Union Gen. Grant and his staff held a conference in Massaponax Church after leaving the Spotsylvania Court House battlefield.
Location: Virginia, United States
Date Posted: 6/1/2012 7:06:34 PM
Waymark Code: WMEHT1
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
Views: 0

Long Description:
In the spring of 1864, Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant was appointed general-in-chief of the Union army and he launched an offensive against the Confederate army in Virginia. While Federal forces came from the east and south, Grant led the Army of the Potomac on the Overland Campaign from the north driving Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia to Petersburg.

After two days of fighting in the Wilderness, both armies moved south to Spotsylvania Court House on May 7. That battle raged for two weeks. Losses were heavy on both sides, but there was no decisive victory. The Confederate army continually thwarted the Federals with their fortified earthworks.

On May 21, Grant decided to move south hoping to draw Lee and his troops out of their trenches. The general and his staff stopped at Massaponax Church for a brief war council. It was at the church that photographer Timothy O'Sullivan snapped pictures of the conference from the second floor.

Detail of photo (Library of Congress) taken from the CWDT marker

Caption: O’Sullivan made this photograph through a window in the building’s gallery. In it, Grant is seated on a church pew at the foot of the trees, flanked on his left by Secretary of War Charles Dana and Chief of Staff John A. Rawlins. Meade occupies the pew at left, in the seat farthest from the camera.


Photo taken from the CWDT marker

Caption: Union soldiers at Massaponax Church, May 21, 1864. This view looks west from Telegraph Road. Many of the soldiers who appear in this photograph belong to the 114th Pennsylvania Volunteers, a regiment that was then serving as headquarters guard for the Army of the Potomac.
Massaponax Church 150 years later

References:

Type of site: Church

Address:
5101 Massaponax Church Rd
Fredericksburg, VA USA
22407


Phone Number: 540-898-0021

Admission Charged: No Charge

Website: [Web Link]

Driving Directions:
Take I-95 Exit 126/Spotsylvania south to intersection of US 1 and Massaponax Church Rd


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