From the Richmond, Va., Dispatch, July 23, 1899.
ON HISTORIC SPOTS.
A Visit to the Battlefield Around Fredericksburg—Days
of War Vividly Recalled.
Marye's Heights—Salem Church, Chancellorsville—The Wilderness—
Recollections of Officers—The Monuments—Notes.
A correspondent of the Washington Post, who recently accompanied an inspecting party on a visit to the battlefields around Fredericksburg, writes as follows:
On the morning of December, 13, 1862, the Union forces were encamped on the northern shore of the Rappahannock, where their batteries commanded the heights, and were also in possession of the town, which had been shelled. On the heights on the other side of the town were the Confederates, in a long line, which extended several miles from Hamilton's Crossing on the right to Beck's Island upon the left. Almost in the centre of the line was Marye's Heights, a hill about 200 feet high, with a fine mansion at the summit of its grassy slope, and with a stone wall and a sunken road at its foot. From the wall to the river there stretched a practically unbroken field, and when the mist was driven away by the rays of the rising sun, the Confederates saw a portion of the Union army, under Hancock and French, drawn up in line of battle.
As the party stood in the sunken road last Wednesday morning beginning its travels over memorable ground, it was remarked that the open field had disappeared, and that it was now the site of many pleasant homes. A considerable section of the wall against which the Union army charged, and behind which the Confederates were protected, has been taken away and now forms the walls of the residence of the keeper of the National Cemetery, on the very heights which the Union forces sought to gain. Eighteen thousand soldiers now sleep in this cemetery, all of whom lost their lives either upon or within rifleshot of the place where they lie buried. Some of the wall, however, is still