Looming Yankees: The Union Army Hovers Opposite Fredericksburg–Some Images and Incidents.

Belmont was constructed in the 1790s, nearly 126 years prior to the Melchers’ purchasing the Falmouth property in 1916. This is an excellent blog post written by National Park Service Historian John Hennessy that describes the devastation that took place in Falmouth during the Civil War. Many of the structures included in the image titled “Falmouth looking NW, 1862,” are still extant, including Union Church, the Conway House, and Belmont.

Mysteries & Conundrums

From John Hennessy:

After their rebuke at the Battle of Arby’s, the Union army recoiled long enough along the Warrenton Road for the Confederates in Falmouth to both prepare to leave and to burn the bridges in their wake. Soon after dawn, as the Union columns swept down the hill into Falmouth, the Confederates put their plan into action. The Falmouth Bridge went up in flames, as did the Chatham Bridge and the R,F&P bridge farther down. Fredericksburg had never seen such a day.  Some white residents scattered, fearful of the looming Yankees. Some slaves rejoiced at the Yankees’ coming. And a few people ventured out to watch, including diarist Betty Herndon Maury, who left a vivid description of the destruction that day.

I went down to the river, and shall never forget the scene there.  Above were our three bridges, all in a bright blaze from one end…

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