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

The Forlorn Hope

 
 
The Forlorn Hope Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., October 9, 2009
1. The Forlorn Hope Marker
Inscription. “A group of soldiers detached from the main group for a very dangerous mission.”

On December 11, 1862, from the north side of the Rappahannock River in Stafford County, the 7th Michigan Infantry led an amphibious assault against the City of Fredericksburg’s tenacious Confederate defenders. The mid-day attack across the river successfully dislodged the Confederate sharpshooters, gave the Union army a foothold on the opposite bank, and most importantly, allowed Union engineers to complete the vital pontoon bridges needed to carry the rest of the Army of the Potomac safely across the water. The Battle of Fredericksburg was fought two days later.

In the aftermath of the battle, the defeated Union army set up winter quarters at Falmouth. Three companies of the 7th Michigan quartered inside the Union Church, a Falmouth landmark since its construction around 1819. Private Edward Wise, of Calhoun County, Michigan, etched his name on one of the church walls: “7 M Edward Wise Co I.”

In the spring of 1863, when the Army of the Potomac marched toward another major battle at Chancellorsville, Company B of the 7th Michigan remained at the Union Church and on picket duty in Falmouth along the river. A secret “submarine telegraph” was discovered at the Conway House below. Concealed
Union Church c.1870 image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., October 9, 2009
2. Union Church c.1870
Caption identifies the Brent Collection as the source of this picture.
under the river the device was used to pass messages about troop movements and other military information to the Confederates in Fredericksburg.

The Union Church also served as a Union hospital at various times during the war. The structure, abandoned in 1935, suffered severely from a major storm in 1950.
 
Erected 2009 by Co. B, 7th Michigan Re-Enactors and Stafford County Architectural Review Board.
 
Location. 38° 19.352′ N, 77° 28.031′ W. Marker is in Falmouth, Virginia, in Stafford County. Marker is on Carter Street near Cambridge Street (U.S. 17), on the right when traveling east. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Fredericksburg VA 22405, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A Sad Duty to Perform (here, next to this marker); Hobby School (a few steps from this marker); James Hunter (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); On this site in 1862... (about 500 feet away but has been reported missing); Conway House (about 500 feet away); Moncure Daniel Conway (about 500 feet away); Anthony Burns (about 500 feet away); Freedom Began Here (about 600 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Falmouth.
 
Categories. Churches, Etc.Notable BuildingsWar, US Civil
 
Picture on The Forlorn Hope Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., October 9, 2009
3. Picture on The Forlorn Hope Marker
“The Forlorn Hope” depicted in a Civil War newspaper sketch.
Union Church after a 1950 severe storm image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., October 9, 2009
4. Union Church after a 1950 severe storm
Battle Flag of the 7th Michigan Vol. Inf. used after the Battle of Fredericksburg image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., October 9, 2009
5. Battle Flag of the 7th Michigan Vol. Inf. used after the Battle of Fredericksburg
Center bottom picture on The Forlorn Hope Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., October 9, 2009
6. Center bottom picture on The Forlorn Hope Marker
Writing on the wall, a 7th Michigan soldier’s etching inside the church
The Forlorn Hope Marker and remains of Union Church image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., October 9, 2009
7. The Forlorn Hope Marker and remains of Union Church
The Forlorn Hope Marker and remains of Union Church, side view image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., October 9, 2009
8. The Forlorn Hope Marker and remains of Union Church, side view
The Forlorn Hope Marker and remains of Union Church, rear view image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., October 9, 2009
9. The Forlorn Hope Marker and remains of Union Church, rear view
Virginia Historic Landmark Plaque image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., October 9, 2009
10. Virginia Historic Landmark Plaque
Falmouth Historic District has been registered a Virginia Historic Landmark pursuant to the authority vested in the Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission Act of 1966
National Register of Historic Places plaque for the Union Church image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., November 19, 2011
11. National Register of Historic Places plaque for the Union Church
National Register of Historic Places and Virginia Historic Landmark Plaques image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., November 19, 2011
12. National Register of Historic Places and Virginia Historic Landmark Plaques
Union Cemetery image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., October 9, 2009
13. Union Cemetery
Named for the church.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,450 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on , by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.   11, 12. submitted on , by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.   13. submitted on , by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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