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Near Fredericksburg in Spotsylvania County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Massaponax Church

Council of War

— Lee vs. Grant — The 1864 Campaign —

 
 
Massaponax Church Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), April 18, 2020
1. Massaponax Church Marker
Inscription.  
Two weeks of fighting at Spotsylvania had resulted in a bloody draw. On May 21, 1864, the Army of the Potomac left its trenches outside the village and began moving east and south, hoping to lure the Confederates into the open where it could attack them to greater advantage.

At 10 a.m. Gens. U.S. Grant and George Meade broke camp near Spotsylvania. They reached Massaponax Church, on Telegraph Road, about noon. After a brief conference, the generals and the army moved on to Guinea Station.

Photographer Timothy O’Sullivan caught up with the Federal high command during their brief stopover at the church. He recorded a remarkable series of photographs of the generals and their staffs in conference.
 
Erected by Civil War Trails.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, MusicChurches & ReligionWar, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #18 Ulysses S. Grant, and the Virginia Civil War Trails series lists. A significant historical month for this entry is May 1863.
 
Location.
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38° 11.593′ N, 77° 30.598′ W. Marker is near Fredericksburg, Virginia, in Spotsylvania County. Marker is on Massaponax Church Road (County Route 608) 0 miles west of U.S. 1, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 5101 Massaponax Church Rd, Fredericksburg VA 22407, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Massaponax Baptist Church (within shouting distance of this marker); Federal Raid (approx. 0.6 miles away); Road to Guinea Station (approx. 0.6 miles away); James Farmer, Civil Rights Leader (approx. 0.6 miles away); Plantations on Guinea Station Road (approx. one mile away); Stanard’s Mill (approx. 3.1 miles away); Grant’s Supply Line (approx. 3.7 miles away); Engagement at Harris Farm (Bloomsbury) (approx. 3.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fredericksburg.
 
Also see . . .  John A. Rawlins. Another important, but often overlooked, figure in the high command of the Union Army. Rawlins served on Grant's staff from the early phases of the war to the very end. After the war, President Grant made him Secretary of War. He would die in office of tuberculosis. (Submitted on November 12, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Marker in front of church image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Dawn Bowen, July 15, 2007
2. Marker in front of church
One of O'Sullivan's Photos on Marker image. Click for full size.
3. One of O'Sullivan's Photos on Marker
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.
One of O'Sullivan's Photos on Marker image. Click for full size.
4. One of O'Sullivan's Photos on Marker
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.
Massaponax Baptist Church image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Kevin W., November 3, 2007
5. Massaponax Baptist Church
Massaponax Church image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Dawn Bowen, July 15, 2007
6. Massaponax Church
Previous version of the marker with identical text and slightly different formatting.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 2, 2023. It was originally submitted on July 15, 2007, by Dawn Bowen of Fredericksburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,602 times since then and 91 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on April 18, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.   2, 3, 4. submitted on July 15, 2007, by Dawn Bowen of Fredericksburg, Virginia.   5. submitted on November 4, 2007, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.   6. submitted on July 15, 2007, by Dawn Bowen of Fredericksburg, Virginia. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 25, 2024