The Building Where Stonewall Jackson Spent His Last Days
After he was wounded by friendly fire while scouting the battlefield at night on May 2nd, 1863, at the Battle of Chancellorsville, General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson was taken to a field hospital where his badly injured left arm was amputated. Two days later, he was taken further to the rear in an ambulance to continue his recovery. Jackson was transported to the plantation home of Thomas Chandler at Guinea Station, Virginia, located on the Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac Railroad. The plan was for Jackson to continue to recover at Guinea Station and then be transported to a Richmond hospital by train.
The general was not placed in the Chandler’s house; instead, he was placed in a small frame building on the property used primarily by the Chandlers as an office. While Jackson was making progress in his recovery from his battle wounds, he took a turn for the worse after contracting pneumonia and died on May 10th.
In the early 1900s, the Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac Railroad bought the Chandler property and removed the remaining structures on the site (the plantation house had burned down sometime after the war) except for the office building where Jackson died, which was repaired and restored. Although the history of the name is not clear, it is believed that the building began to be called the Stonewall Jackson Shrine, as it is still known today. The railroad turned the property over to the National Park Service in 1937, and is part of the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.
CSX Transportation trains still rumble past the site on the old Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac line. The Shrine building has been preserved and restored, and is still about 45% original. Inside the room where Jackson died, the bed he died in and one of his blankets is present, as is a clock on the mantle that was also in the room at the time of the general’s death. Other rooms feature displays and exhibits that show how those rooms would have looked as they were occupied by medical and other staff. The Stonewall Jackson Shrine can be reached from I-95 by taking Exit 118 (Highway 606) and driving east on 606 for about four miles.
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