Over her spring break, my sister came to visit us for a few days. On one of those days, she and I went to visit Chatham Manor (Lacy House) while M was at work. As you head toward the home, you walk through gardens (which I am sure are more beautiful once bloomed) and this becomes your first view of the house.
Inside, there was not much to see other than several artifacts and a short video giving some of Chatham’s history. We learned about the house pre-Civil War, during and after. While the Civil War was in full swing in the South, Chatham was abandoned by the Lacy family and taken over by Union Generals. Chatham became their headquarters, and the room where we watch the video, once a guest room for the likes of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, was a converted operating room during the Battle of Fredericksburg! As time went on, soldiers stripped the house of all it’s belongings, the reason there is not much to see inside. They even stripped some of the walls down to the beams where you can still see ‘graffiti’ where soldiers wrote their names or drew small pictures. Once you are done with the video, you are free to walk around the grounds of Chatham which overlook the Rappahannock River as well as the City of Fredericksburg.
One of the coolest features of the grounds was the musical fence the family put in Post-Civil War.
The following week, M and I climbed the hill to the Confederate Headquarters (against his will!). There were several plaques and signs along with cannons however, there is a modern housing development right along Confederate Ridge where their post used to be. It was so interesting to see some of the same Fredericksburg Landmarks from each side.
For more information about Chatham: http://www.nps.gov/frsp/chatham.htm