I recently took a trip to the White Oak Civil War Museum (and Stafford Research Center) on the chance that I might dig up something interesting about our Boscobel Farm. I drove there with no appointment, hoping to talk to someone about my research into the anecdotal stories and hard-facts surrounding our historic property.
I walked in, not sure what to expect and was immediately greeted by two gentlemen who were very happy to help me. What we discovered has sent me on a journey of discovery for the last six weeks. All of which I will continue to post about. Find all of the Boscobel Farm history I have uncovered here on our History page. This property is a well of lost mystery, ever deepening, waiting to be uncovered. My trip to the museum created many more questions than answers.
In the winter of 1862-1863, Brigadier General Daniel E. Sickles occupied the private home (manor house), Boscobel as his headquarters for the Second Division of the Armys Third Corp. As such, Union soldiers, numbering in the thousands camped around the house and on the surrounding property.
Boscobel as it likely looked during the occupation
During December 11-15, 1862 the men encamped here at Boscobel, fought in the Battle of Fredericksburg. The battle was described as "butchery" with Union casualties being three times more than that of their Confederate counterparts. During the battle, Sickles established a hospital here, in the house.
[Note: the center section of our home is seems to be built on the foundation of the original Boscobel manor house as we have discovered through research I will share in another post.]
Two hundred men, wounded in the Battle of Fredericksburg were left behind in the charge of a medical officer. Above is a transcribed, typewritten copy of a letter written by Sickles, establishing Boscobel as the division hospital (I'm trying to track down the original). This was surprising news to me and it never truly occurred to me that they would have used the headquarters as a hospital but it makes sense. I feel like if they were throwing limbs out of windows and such, they would have surely landed where our bedrooms are now. The center section of the home measured 39' wide x 27' deep (the exact dimensions of the center section of our home) and had seven rooms on the first floor, four on the second. I'm not sure how they treated quite so many wounded men but I suspect they were doing triage outside and some treatment in tents.
This is a fascinating development and ultimately it led me down yet another rabbit hole...stay tuned.
Hi! I'm Amy. I am a former commercial photographer who has travelled all over the world and finally landed in my happy place - Historic Boscobel Farm.