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

Chatham

 
 
Chatham Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, September 6, 2010
1. Chatham Marker
Inscription. Chatham has watched quietly over Fredericksburg for almost 250 years—an imposing, 180-foot-long brick manor house once visible from much of town. It has witnessed great events and played host to important people. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln were here; Clara Barton and Walt Whitman too. To some residents it was a home, to others a place of toil, and to soldiers during the war a headquarters or a hospital.

Here at Chatham, as at few other places, is the full breadth of Southern history: its rise on the foundation of slavery, its ruin during the turbulent years of the Civil War, and its rebirth in the 1900s. Chatham is not merely the story of a Southern house, but of American culture—sometimes cruel and unjust, sometimes noble and refined, but always interesting.
 
Erected by Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.
 
Location. 38° 18.543′ N, 77° 27.265′ W. Marker is in Falmouth, Virginia, in Stafford County. Marker can be reached from Chatham Drive near Chatham Heights Road. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 120 Chatham Lane, Fredericksburg VA 22405, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker
Chatham Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, September 6, 2010
2. Chatham Marker
. Beyond the Big House (here, next to this marker); Lincoln's Review (here, next to this marker but has been reported missing); Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park (here, next to this marker); A Changed Landscape (within shouting distance of this marker); Sow…Tend…Harvest (within shouting distance of this marker); A “Picture of Desolation” (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Bombardment (about 600 feet away); Beleaguered Town (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Falmouth.
 
More about this marker. On the top is a high angle photo of Chatham with the caption, “Today the original core of the plantation remains—three buildings largely in their original form. Around them stand buildings, gardens, and landscape improvements that date to the 1900s.”

On the lower left are paintings of the Fitzhughs with caption, “William Fitzhugh and his wife Ann Randolph Fitzhugh built Chatham in 1771. Fitzhugh knew George Washington well and supported the Revolution with spirit and funds (though not with service—he had lost an eye as a child). The Fitzhughs’ granddaughter later married Robert E. Lee.”

On the middle right is a Civil War era photo of Chatham with the caption, “The Union
Chatham (riverside) image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, September 6, 2010
3. Chatham (riverside)
army used Chatham repeatedly during the war—as a hospital, a headquarters, and even as a stable. This image shows Chatham in 1863; the devastation is apparent.”

On the lower right are portraits of the Lacys with the caption, “James Horace Lacy and his wife Betty Churchill Jones Lacy owned Chatham during the Civil War. Lacy held more than 100 slaves and supported secession with the same fervor that Fitzhugh had supported the Revolution. The war devastated both Chatham and the Lacys’ fortune.”
 
Also see . . .
1. Chatham Manor. Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park (Submitted on September 6, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 

2. Old Marker at this Location. This marker replaced an older one at this location also titled “Chatham” (Submitted on September 7, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. Colonial EraWar, US Civil
 
Falmouth, Virginia (vicinity). Major Lacy's house opposite Fredericksburg. View from the south image. Click for full size.
By Timothy H. O'Sullivan, 1863
4. Falmouth, Virginia (vicinity). Major Lacy's house opposite Fredericksburg. View from the south
Library of Congress [LC-B815-698]
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 6, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 817 times since then and 37 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on September 6, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.   4. submitted on September 7, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.
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