Spotsylvania Courthouse in Spotsylvania County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Zion Methodist Church
The Edge of the Storm
— Lee vs. Grant – The 1864 Campaign —
Virginia churches suffered heavily in the Civil War, being used by contending armies as headquarters, hospitals and barracks. Zion Church was no exception. In August 1862, Union soldiers stopped briefly at the church during an expedition to southern Spotsylvania County. Within minutes, wrote a Union soldier, the quiet meeting house became “a perfect bedlam…filled with soldiers, some scuffling, some whistling, some playing cards on the little plain table in front of the pulpit, while one independent gentleman in his shirt sleeves occupies the minister’s chair in the pulpit and is engaged in…combing his hair.”
Worse was yet to come. In May 1864, Union and Confederate armies fought at nearby Spotsylvania Court House. As the shifting battle lines moved southward, Zion Church found itself in the center of the conflict. Gens. Robert E. Lee and A.P. Hill met with officers at the church, while in the upstairs gallery Southern signal men equipped with high-powered telescopes kept a vigilant watch on Union troops one mile east of here.
The commotion around the church did not go unnoticed. Union gunners, noting the activity, peppered
The tombstone of Corporal Thomas A. Harris, one of three Confederate soldiers buried at Zion Church. Harris’s regiment, the 9th Virginia Cavalry, screened the Confederate army’s right flank at Spotsylvania and engaged Union troops at Myers Hill.
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & Religion • War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical month for this entry is May 1864.
Location. 38° 11.637′ N, 77° 35.191′ W. Marker is in Spotsylvania Courthouse, Virginia, in Spotsylvania County. Marker is at the intersection of Courthouse Road (Virginia Route 208) and Massaponax Church Road (Virginia Route 613), on the right when traveling south on Courthouse Road. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 8700 Courthouse Road, Spotsylvania VA 22553, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Civil War Veterans at Rest in Zion's Cemetery (a few steps from this marker); Slave Entrance (a few steps from this marker); Pastor's Office (within shouting distance of Education in Spotsylvania County (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Stubbs School (about 500 feet away); The Good Hope Colored School (about 500 feet away); Forever young, Forever in our hearts (about 700 feet away); Original Spotsylvania High School (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Spotsylvania Courthouse.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 9, 2021. It was originally submitted on November 20, 2007, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,257 times since then and 21 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on April 18, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. 2. submitted on August 18, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on November 20, 2007, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.