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Maurice Broaddus Rowe Postcard of Brompton

Brompton at Marye's Heights

Brompton as it appears today

Brompton during the Civil War,
with rifle pits in foreground

In 1821, John Lawrence Marye, an attorney, built his mansion, Brompton in Fredericksburg - overlooking Hanover Street and Sunken Road. In pre - Civil War days, many dances and galas were held in this home that he built for his family of many daughters.

John L Marye was involved with Virginia's Seccession movement. He had hoped both sides could resolve their differences in peace. He resisted, but eventually joined in a positive vote for Virginia to leave the Union, most probably never imagining the effect it would have on his home life.

It wasn't until the end of the second year into the Civil War that Marye realized he must evacuate his home; when General Robert E Lee's troops came upon Brompton. Under the leadership of a Colonel James Walton, Brompton was claimed as their headquarters. The Union soon came upon Marye Heights, but Walton's men had the advantage through the windows from the upper floors of Brompton.

The assault was horrendous, both on men (about 166 were hit) and on Brompton. After the battle, a visiting Confederate officer noted:

"Not an inch of the surface of the bricks on the front of the housewas free from the mark of a Minié ball. Bushels of flattened ones were to be seen on the ground, while the woodwork was torn to pieces by them"

Brompton was attacked again in the Battle of Chancellorsville the following May in 1863, leaving it in a devastating condition. And the following May in 1864, Brompton became a makeshift hospital, for more than 10,000 bloody and soiled wounded crammed in body to body, in the vermin infested structure. Luckily the holes in the home from gunfire provided some fresh air for the sick and dying. The dead were placed in a trench and after the war transferred to the Fredericksburg National Cemetery.

In 1865, John Marye began repairing damages to Brompton. Dying in 1868, his family sold the home to the John G Lane family, which afterwards was sold to Captain Maurice Broaddus Rowe, turning Brompton into a successful dairy farm.



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