My daughter is a junior in high school and you know what that means…college tours! Our little family of four spent spring break driving 1,800 miles round trip to visit a number of schools in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Our first stop was Fredericksburg, VA, home of University of Mary Washington.
I was immediately charmed by Fredericksburg’s downtown and quickly learned that the area has much to offer with walkable streets, a mix of shops and restaurants, and an assortment of historic sites and museums. The area is especially appealing to history buffs due to five significant Civil War battles that took place in the vicinity.
Our time in each spot was very limited, but since we arrived in Fredericksburg on a Sunday afternoon I had an hour to stroll before dinner. I thought this old building, with the simple name “Old Stone Warehouse”, was interesting with its tiny windows and heavy stone construction.
It was originally built in the mid-1700s but destroyed by flood or fire in 1807. Reconstructed in 1813 by a local businessman upon its earlier foundation, the warehouse has been used for a number of purposes over the years including a morgue during the Civil War where records indicate as many as 326 dead Union solders were housed inside.
The rear of the building, which faces the Rappahannock River, still shows cannonball markings from the war. Interestingly, the building has four stories but only one story is visible from the street today. All but the basement is visible from the rear of the building.
Just a couple of doors down from the warehouse I came across a wonderful mural by Mirinda Reynolds depicting a Civil War drummer boy and the date “1862”. As the mural states, “each leaf represents one thousand soldiers who died between December 13th-15th in the Battle of Fredericksburg.”
Over 17,000 soldiers were killed in this pivotal Civil War battle. Also included on the mural is the closing of a hand-written condolence letter from Abraham Lincoln to a Boston, MA mother of five boys who died for the cause: “the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom”.
Seeing this warehouse, along with the mural close by, made me wonder once again what we would learn if “these walls could talk”. I’ll share more Fredericksburg finds over the coming weeks.
This post is part of Norm 2.0‘s Thursday Doors series. Take a peek at the wonderful assortment of doors shared by others from around the world.