Forgotten in Plain Sight: The City Cemetery at the Head of Amelia Street

Mysteries & Conundrums

From John Hennessy [We offer this up in advance of Friday night’s History at Sunset program in the city and Confederate cemeteries in Fredericksburg. This post originally appeared in the Free Lance-Star in 2010.]

The headstone of Evy and George Doswell, young victims of the 1861 Scarlet Fever epidemic in Fredericksburg. The headstone of Evy and George Doswell, young victims of the 1861 Scarlet Fever epidemic in Fredericksburg.

Few things of such permanence in Fredericksburg came to be so quickly.  On the night of January 3, 1844, as the town of 4,000 or so regained its rhythms after the holidays, a group of nine men gathered in the study of 28-year-old Presbyterian pastor George W. McPhail.  They came together to discuss, as the minutes of their meeting described it, “a Cemetery for the Burial of the Dead.”  The old Corporation Burial Ground on Prince Edward Street was nearly full, and looking tattered to boot.  Now, an old field of corn along the “New Turnpike” (what we know…

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