Falmouth in Stafford County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
The Forlorn Hope
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
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. Touch 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); 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); Magistrate’s Office (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Falmouth.
Categories. • Churches & Religion • Notable Buildings • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 9, 2009, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,534 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on October 9, 2009, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. 11, 12. submitted on November 19, 2011, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. 13. submitted on October 9, 2009, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.