Virtual Tour, Zoan Church
The modern Zoan Church is larger, but on the site of the Civil War period church. On April 30, General Richard H. Anderson's division received orders to block the Union advance from Chancellorsville to Lee's rear at Fredericksburg. He formed a line along a ridge that the church sits on--the highest ground from there east to the Atlantic Ocean. The Confederates not only occupied high ground, but blocked three roads. Only the winding River Road leading to Fredericksburg was not covered.
On the morning of May 1, "Stonewall" Jackson arrived on the scene and acting under discretionary orders from Robert E. Lee, he ordered Anderson's men to put down their shovels and pick up their weapons. The Confederates were going on the forward. This shift from the defensive to the offensive marked a turning point in the battle. In 2007 a shopping center was built right up to the high ground held by Anderson's men, visible to the left.