Jackson Death Site

Panorama with small white structure on left and wide green field with sky stretching into a sunset on left.
The Jackson Death Site today sits on a location with a long history that stretches back well before the Civil War.

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A white building in a cleared grassy field with tress obscuring the front door.
In the 1900s, private citizens sought to preserve the building in which Confederate General "Stonewall" Jackson died. The efforts served a larger goal to memorialize Confederates and control the story of the Civil War.

Library of Congress

About the Jackson Death Site

Since 1828, a small, unassuming building currently known as the Jackson Death Site has stood ten miles south of the city of Fredericksburg, Virginia. The building was once part of Fairfield, a small farm complex owned by John Thorton (later the Chandler family) and worked by enslaved labor. Other buildings that once stood within the vicinity of the Jackson Death Site included the farm home, outhouses, a smokehouse, and barns. Built not as a residence but as the farm's office, this building had no fixed purpose like most of the structures around it. Instead, the farm office was used for whatever the inhabitants needed at the time: that could mean simple storage or indoor workspace or file keeping. The Chandler family also used the building as a temporary living space for themselves and guests. As a slave labor farm, the building may have served as office space for slave overseers.

In 1845, Thomas Chandler bought Fairfield at auction with the help of his father-in-law. Under Chandler's ownership, Fairfield reached its zenith with more than 700 acres, 30 enslaved laborers, and a large brick home that replaced the humbler wooden structure John Thornton built earlier. The Civil War proved a mixed blessing for the people working Fairfield's lands. For the white inhabitants the war brought years of instability as the region became a pivot point for the conflict in central Virginia; for the enslaved population the war brought freedom for the first time in their lives.

Fairfield's close proximity to Guinea Station, a stop along the Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac Railroad, ensured a steady flow of activity in the surrounding area throughout the war. Consequently, the wide variety of people who passed though this area sometimes refer to it under different names including Fairfield, the Chandler Plantation, and Guinea Station.

Most famously, the Civil War brought Confederate General Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson to Fairfield. In the lead-up to the Battle of Fredericksburg, Jackson's command camped in the area for a short time. But it was six months later, during the Battle of Chancellorsville, that Jackson would make the small office famous. After his wounding in a friendly fire incident and the amputation of his left arm, Jackson was brought to the Fairfield to await rail transport to Richmond. He would never get on the train alive; Jackson died in the farm office eight days after his wounding on May 10, 1863.

A one and a half story white house in a mowed field.
Jackson Death Site Walking Tour

Explore the grounds and wider history of the Fairfield Plantation and Guinea Station, most famous as the place where Jackson died in 1863.

A park ranger in front of a white house with text, road to chancellorsville
The Road to Chancellorsville

Explore how the escalating pressure of two years of war impacted the Confederacy and its army leading into the Battle of Chancellorsville.

Last updated: October 13, 2023

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120 Chatham Ln
Fredericksburg, VA 22405


540 693-3200

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