The battle of Salem Church.
Down the hill and out upon the road over which Sedgwick
's Corps marched, the visitors passed, the horses' heads being turned toward Salem church.
At some little distance from Fredericksburg
, Captain Rowe
pointed out a frame, two-story house.
‘My father,’ he said, ‘placed all his furniture in that house for safe-keeping, and there it remained until one day a shell came along, struck the house, and burst in the room in which the furniture was stored.
After that,’ said the Captain
laughingly, ‘it wasn't worth much, even for firewood.’
Cattle were grazing on the hills, the farmers were harvesting their wheat, and the sun was shining with golden splendor as the party rode along.
The contrast with the days when regiments tramped wearily along, when the roads and fields were filled with dead horses, and when bursting shells made dreadful music, was very vivid.
At Salem church, an old-fashioned brick building, the party stood beside the old earthworks and listened to the story of Sedgwick
's fight, with the maps spread under the shade of a large tree, upon some tables which had evidently been constructed for a picnic party.
The walls of the church plainly showed the marks of bullets and cannon balls.
Within the edifice is a memorial altar built by the contributions of New Jersey
and South Carolina
men, and a Grand Army post in the former State, composed of survivors of the fight, has supported the Salem church Sunday-School for thirty years.
marched through to Washington
in 1865,’ said Colonel Bird
, ‘he saw many bodies still unburied, and reported that fact.
I came down here to bury them.’
As he spoke he also pointed out many places where bodies had been exhumed in order that they might be taken to the cemetery at Fredericksburg