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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Hopewell, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

St. Johnís Episcopal Church

 
 
St. Johnís Episcopal Church CWT Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, May 31, 2009
1. St. Johnís Episcopal Church CWT Marker
Inscription. During the Civil War this church served as a signal station for both the Confederacy and the Union. On May 5, 1864 Col. Samuel A. Duncanís brigade of United States Colored Troops (4th, 5th, and 6th U.S.C.T.) occupied City Point and the signal station without resistance. The 5th U.S.C.T. was the first to arrive and they captured code books and a group of Confederate signalmen who were trying to send information to Petersburg about the arrival of the Union army. For a short time the church was used as a prison until the Bull Ring was complete.

The appearance of the church today reflects architectural modifications made in the 1890s.

(sidebar)
Paulina Ruffin Eppes was a former slave of Dr. Richard Eppes. In 1939 when she was ninety years old, Paulina was interviewed by Judge Thomas Robertson and Roland Gill for the Work Projects Administration Writerís Program. Photographs of Paulina and a fellow worker for the Eppes family, “Uncle” George Wilson, were found in the Eppes files of the Virginia Historical Society.

Paulina Eppes spoke highly of Dr. Eppes, who, she said, provided good frame house for his slaves. They wore warm clothes and she remembered linsey-woolsey dresses and long capes worn by the women. Mrs. Eppes said the food served on the Eppes plantation was very good. Dr. Eppes
St. Johnís Episcopal Church CWT Marker on Cedar Lane (facing south) image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, May 31, 2009
2. St. Johnís Episcopal Church CWT Marker on Cedar Lane (facing south)
had the wheat grown there taken to the local mill to be ground, and served the slaves with “seconds.” Other rations included “so many pounds of meat and so many herrings and a water bucket full of good porte [sic] Rico molasses to last two weeks.” They had plenty of the usual vegetables.

Paulina remembered when the Yankees came a white sheet was run up on top of the house, in answer to the signals of the Union fleet on the river. When the shooting started they took shelter in the basement of Saint Johnís Church. Then Paulina and her people ran to Hopewell Farm (now the industrial area). Dr. Eppesís overseer took them to Eppes Island, then to Norfolk. They returned to City Point after the war and continued to work at Appomattox Manor.

Paulina Eppes and her husband, Henry, lived in a Civil War cabin for twenty years until it was removed from the grounds. She recalled Christmas and corn shucking as the happiest times. Courtesy of the Virginia Historical Society.
 
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 37° 18.802′ N, 77° 16.62′ W. Marker is in Hopewell, Virginia. Marker is at the intersection
St. Johnís Episcopal Church image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, May 31, 2009
3. St. Johnís Episcopal Church
of Cedar Lane and Maplewood Avenue, on the right when traveling south on Cedar Lane. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Hopewell VA 23860, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Bull Ring At City Point (a few steps from this marker); Dr. Peter Eppes House (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Porter House (about 600 feet away); City Point, Virginia (about 700 feet away); a different marker also named City Point (about 700 feet away); Appomattox Manor (about 700 feet away); a different marker also named City Point (about 800 feet away); General Grant's Headquarters (about 800 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Hopewell.
 
More about this marker. On the upper left is a photo with the caption, "St. Johnís Church (on the left) served as a signal station for both the Union and the Confederacy. The buildings on the right were built by the Federals during the occupation."

On the right is a photo of Paulina Eppes, a former slave on the Appomattox Plantation. Courtesy of the Virginia Historical Society.
 
Also see . . .  Petersburg National Battlefield - Biographies. Richard Eppes. (Submitted on June 8, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. African AmericansChurches, Etc.War, US Civil
 
<i>St. Johnís Episcopal Church, Erected 1840, Shelled During Civil War. Rebuilt in 1894.</i> image. Click for full size.
circa 1920
4. St. Johnís Episcopal Church, Erected 1840, Shelled During Civil War. Rebuilt in 1894.
St. Johnís Episcopal Church Bell image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, May 31, 2009
5. St. Johnís Episcopal Church Bell
The bell originally hung on a heavy oak frame in the church yard for many years. It was purchased for $84 on November 30, 1843 with money received from a fair the women of St. John's held on July 6, 1843.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 937 times since then and 79 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.   2, 3. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.   4. submitted on .   5. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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