Virtual Tour, Salem Church
Salem Church was a Baptist church built in 1844. It was a brick construction 2 1/2 stories tall. It was located on a low ridge on the Orange Turnpike about 4 miles west of Fredericksburg.
Salem Church was used to house civilian refugees during the Fredericksburg Campaign. During the Chancellorsville Campaign major fighting swirled around the church on May 3, 1863. Wilcox's Alabama Brigade straddled the road at the church blocking the advance of General John Sedgwick's Union Sixth Corps. Other Confederate units soon arrived from Chancellorsville to lengthen both ends of the Southern line.
The fighting raged around the church for several hours on the evening of May 3 until darkness put an end to the fight. The Union advance was stopped. Additional Confederate units arrived from Chancellorsville on May 4 to surround Sedgwick's men on three sides. The fighting was east and northeast of the church.
In the aftermath of the fighting, Salem Church became a hospital treating men of both sides. Among the Confederate surgeons was the brother-in-law of President Abraham Lincoln.
The park preserves the church, an acre of ground around the church and several monuments including the 23rd New Jersey Monument shown here in the background
Much of the Salem Church section of the battlefield has been lost to development.
Interior of Salem Church
Members of the New Salem Church congregation serve as volunteers in manning the old church on weekend afternoons during the summer months. At that time, visitors can go inside the church.
The park has produced two brochures to help understand the fighting around Salem Church. One covers the immediate area around the church and the other is a driving tour for the 2nd Fredericksburg/Salem Church portion of the Chancellorsville Battlefield.