Question of the Week: 7/18-7/24/22

Historic structures still stand on some battlefields. Do you have a favorite historical building preserved on hallowed ground?

26 Responses to Question of the Week: 7/18-7/24/22

  1. Although Annapolis Maryland was not the scene of a bloody battle during the Civil War, it was the site of contentious negotiations, involving then-Brigadier General Benjamin Butler and Governor Thomas Hicks. In an effort to avoid enraging pro-secession Marylanders (and save his political skin), Governor Hicks refused General Butler’s request to land reinforcements from New England bound for the National Capital at Washington. Butler landed his troops at the Federal Government-controlled Naval Academy, instead, effectively bypassing Governor Hicks. Subsequently, in process of relocating the staff and students of the Naval Academy to the safety of Rhode Island, the school-ship, USS Constitution, was pressed into service (and hauled free of the mud she rested in) and delivered her human cargo to Newport.
    Most of the Naval Academy structures at Annapolis have been replaced during the intervening 161 years; and the Elk Ridge Railroad restored by Butler to “get his men to Washington and Save the Capital” no longer exists… but USS Constitution, a Civil War survivor launched in 1797, is presently open to visitors in Boston (where I visited the ship in 1999.)

  2. Dry Dock No 1 at the Norfolk (VA) Naval Shipyard, formerly the Gosport Shipyard. One of the first two U.S. naval drydocks (the other is in Charlestown, MA) built of solid Massachusetts granite in a monumental engineering feat and completed in 1833. In 1861, the drydock received the burned hull and engineering plant of the former steam frigate USS Merrimack to be converted to the Rebel ironclad CSS Virginia. The drydock is a National Historic Landmark and still in use.

  3. H.P. Bottom House at Perryville. Also Fort Mills at Corregidor. In both places there is a spirit that haunts the ground.

  4. I’m with Larry, the Dunker Antietam. What a contrast between the Prince of Peace and the horror of that battle

  5. I guess witness trees are out, huh. Too bad, the old Brompton Oak witness tree at Fredericksburg battlefield is a favorite of mine. There’s alot, Dunker Church is a good one! On my long list is the Washington Monument with the change of color in the granite right where the war ceased its construction. The granite coloration change makes statements. How the war stopped everything, how resilient the country is to recover and continue building, and symbolically says that’s where the country changed from a states rights organization to a federal organization. There’s many to choose, that’s just one of mine, good question.

  6. The Carter and Carnton houses at Franklin … and Ford Island on the Pearl Harbor Naval Station … there is still family housing on Ford Island so it’s possible for Navy history buffs to live on this historic site.

  7. Dunker Church at Antietam has been mentioned several times and is a great choice, so I’ll go with the McLean house at Appomattox CH and the Bushman and Slyder farmhouses at Gettysburg.

  8. Dunker Church is number 1. After that…Schmucker Hall on Seminary Ridge, Mary Thompson House right across the Chambersburg Pike, and the McPherson Barn.

  9. Speaking for the often-overlooked Trans community (Trans-Mississippi), I’d offer up four:
    The Ray House at Wilson’s Creek
    Elkhorn Tavern at Pea Ridge
    The Anderson House at Lexington, MO
    The Borden House at Prairie Grove, Ark

  10. The fairly recently unveiled post-restoration Warfield House on the southern end of the Gettysburg battlefield is an absolute gem. I spent the better part of an hour around the house on a cloudy and windy day last November and enjoyed myself capitally. The restoration is incredible; you kinda of forget what it used to look like. Quiet, peaceful, reflective, recommended!

  11. The Dunker Church at Antietam, even with the church being rebuilt long after the war

  12. Many good structures to choose from, but I’m going to go with those structures that still reflect actual battle damage, especially Carter House at Franklin, Innis House at Fredericksburg, Trostle Farm at Gettysburg, Stone Hose at Manassas and Salem Church at Chancellorsville.

  13. Just because I’m shocked that it hasn’t been mentioned yet, the Graffiti House at Brandy Station.

  14. Also, the Carson House outside of Asheville. A schoolteacher’s eyewitness account of a Union raid makes the site even more compelling!

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