The Stonewall Jackson Death Site, once called the Stonewall Jackson Shrine, is a small white outbuilding, with two windows.

Shrine Near I-95 Honors Civil War Officer Shot By His Own Men

Everything You Need To Know About Visiting The Stonewall Jackson Death Site VA

If you venture off I-95 near Fredericksburg, you can visit the site that was, until recently, called the Stonewall Jackson Shrine. This Virginia historic site, now called the Stonewall Jackson Death Site, preserves the place where the Civil War hero died 8 days after falling to friendly fire.

This National Park Service oversees this historic site and offers a look at a piece of American history that is both somber and significant.

I’ve passed the sign on I-95 dozens of times and finally took the time to visit this serene and peaceful landscape that explores the tragic events that unfolded in May of 1863.

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Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson was shot by his own men at the Battle of Chancellorsville, and died 8 days later on May 10, 1863, in an outbuilding on a farm called Fairfield. Location: 12019 Stonewall Jackson Road, Woodford, VA.

The Month Of May

May is a beautiful month in Virginia with flowers and trees blooming–but in Civil War history, it is a sad one. The South lost both Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson and General J.E.B. Stuart in May, one year apart.

Strangely enough, it is also the month when Confederate cavalry officer John S. Mosby died, although that wasn’t until 1916.

A painting of "Fairfield" as it was during the Civil War when Stonewall Jackson died there, showing a big brick house with a small white outbuilding where Jackson died.
Image of the farm as it was when Stonewall Jackson died there. in the small white building.

Stonewall Jackson Wounded In Battle

During the Battle of Chancellorsville, Confederate Commander Robert E. Lee split his force and sent Jackson around the Union flank. This decision resulted in one the Army of the Potomac’s most stunning defeats of the war, especially considering the other tragedy that occurred.

When nightfall halted the fighting on May 2, Jackson rode forward to investigate the lay of the land for another attack. As he and his aides rode back to their own lines, a group of Confederates mistakenly took them as Union cavalry and opened fire.

Struck by multiple bullets, Jackson suffered severe wounds to his left arm and hand. The injuries were so severe that his left arm had to be amputated, taking him out of action and resulting in a significant loss for the Confederate army.

Stonewall Jackson Moved Out Of Danger

Since there was danger of capture by the Federals, Confederate army commander Robert E. Lee ordered troops to move Jackson to Guinea Station. This location was chosen because because of its proximity to the railroad that led to Richmond, a safe city where he could get medical attention in a hospital.

The General’s surgeon Dr. Hunter McGuire recorded an incident that took place on the long ambulance ride to safer territory.

He said: “The rough teamsters sometimes refused to move their loaded wagons out of the way for an ambulance until told that it contained Jackson, and then, with all possible speed, they gave the way and stood with hats off and weeping as he went by.”

Famous Quote: Upon hearing of Jackson’s wounding, Robert E. Lee is quoted as saying that “[Jackson] has lost his left arm, and I have lost my right.

The Story Behind The Stonewall Jackson Shrine

General Jackson ended up in a plantation office building on Thomas C. Chandler’s 740-acre plantation named “Fairfield.” Although he was offered the use of the Chandler family’s house, Jackson’s doctor and staff officers chose a quiet and private outbuilding as the best place for Jackson to rest.

Fairfield’s close proximity to Guinea Station, a stop along the Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac Railroad, meant that a wide variety of people passed through this area. It was therefore referred to with different names including Fairfield, the Chandler Plantation, and Guinea Station.

The small building now marks Stonewall Jackson's Shrine.
The building where General Stonewall Jackson died in May, 1863, and came to be called the Stonewall Jackson Shrine.

The Chandlers prepared the room using the same bed frame and one of the same blankets that is still on exhibit today! They also added the clock on the mantel with the hope that it would make the room look more homelike and cheerful.

Despite his condition and the grueling 27-mile ambulance ride, Jackson remembered his manners upon arrival to the property by apologizing to Mr. Chandler for being unable to shake hands with his host.

Jackson’s Wife Arrives

On May 7, Mrs. Jackson and baby daughter Julia arrived at Guinea Station and found lodging in the Chandler home. Earlier that month, the Jackson’s had spent a nine-day reunion together that had been interrupted by the renewal of fighting that called the general away.

Amazingly, that reunion was the first time General Jackson had seen his wife in a year, and the first time he met his five-month-old daughter. Mrs. Jackson wrote of that visit:

It was raining and he was afraid to take her in his arms with his wet overcoat, but upon arrival at the house, he speedily divested himself of his overcoat, and, taking his baby in his arms, he caressed her with the tenderest affection, and held her long and lovingly.

During the whole of this short visit when he was with us, he rarely had her out of his arms, waking her, and amusing her in every way that he could think of—sometimes holding her up before a mirror and saying, admiringly, “Now, Miss Jackson, look at yourself.” Then he would turn to an old lady of the family and say, “Isn’t she a little gem?”

When she slept in the day, he would often kneel over her cradle, and gaze upon her little face with the most rapt admiration, and he said he felt almost as if she were an angel in her innocence and purity.

Vintage black and white photo of Stonewall Jackson's wife, sitting and wearing black, with her young daughter, wearing a white dress.
Stonewall Jackson’s wife and daughter.

This second reunion was not nearly as pleasant. Mrs. Jackson spent most of her time at her husband’s bedside in the office, which lifted the spirits of the general. As Dr. Hunter McGuire observed:

“The General’s joy at the presence of his wife and child was very great, and for him unusually demonstrative.

Noticing the sadness of his wife, he said to her tenderly: ‘I know you would gladly give your life for me, but I am perfectly resigned. Do not be sad. I hope I may yet recover. Pray for me, but always remember in your prayers to use the petition, Thy will be done.’”

While Jackson was making progress in his recovery from his battle wounds, he took a turn for the worse after contracting pneumonia. Despite the efforts of specialists, nothing seemed to help him improve.

Vintage scene of Stonewall Jackson's death
Vintage scene of doctors treating Stonewall Jackson.

Stonewall Jackson Prepares For The End

In recording the details of Jackson’s wound and treatment, McGuire wrote: “When his child was brought to him to-day he played with it for some time, frequently caressing it and calling it his “little comforter.”

At one time he raised his wounded hand above his head and closing his eyes, was for some moments silently engaged in prayer. He said to me: “I see from the number of physicians that you think my condition dangerous, but I thank God, if it is His will, that I am ready to go.”

About daylight on Sunday morning Mrs. Jackson informed him that his recovery was very doubtful, and that it was better that he should be prepared. He was silent for a moment, and then said: “It will be infinite gain to be translated to Heaven.”

His exhaustion increased so rapidly that at 11 o’clock Mrs. Jackson knelt by his bed and told him that before the sun went down he would be with his Savior. He replied: “Oh, no; you are frightened, my child; death is not so near; I may yet get well.”

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Mrs. Jackson fell over upon the bed, weeping bitterly, telling him again that the physicians said there was no hope. After a moment’s pause he called for Dr. McGuire, and said: “Doctor, Anna informs me that you have told her that I am to die today; is it so?”

When he was answered, he turned his eyes toward the ceiling and gazed for a moment or two as it in intense thought, then replied: “Very good, very good, it is all right.”

He then tried to comfort his almost heart-broken wife, and told her that he had a great deal to say to her, but he was too weak.

Stonewall Jackson's shrine or death place is a small white building sitting in the distance in a field of green grass.
Stonewall Jackson’s death site is a peaceful, serene place to visit.

The Final Moments

Jackson’s Assistant Adjutant General Sandie Pendleton was so busy with the affairs of the Corps that he didn’t have time to visit the General until May 10. When he entered the room around 1 o’clock, Jackson asked him who had preached at headquarters.

Pendleton replied that the whole army was praying for him, and Jackson responded: “Thank God, they are very kind. It is the Lord’s Day; my wish is fulfilled. I have always desired to die on Sunday.”

The relationship between Pendleton and Jackson was a close one. It was said that Jackson “loved him like a son.” Sandie was so affected by the conversation that he went to the porch and wept.  

He later told Mrs. Jackson, “God knows I would have died for him.”

Black and white vintage photo of a young Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson with white shirt and military coat.
Vintage photo of a young Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.

Stonewall Jackson Death Quote

Anyone who reads about the Civil War has read about the last words of Stonewall Jackson.

At 3:15 p.m. on May 10, Dr. McGuire carefully noted his words.

A few moments before he died he cried out in his delirium, ‘Order A.P. Hill to prepare for action! Pass the infantry to the front rapidly! Tell Major Hawks’ — then stopped, leaving the sentence unfinished.

Stonewall Jackson’s Last Words

Presently a smile of ineffable sweetness spread itself over his pale face, and he said quietly, and with an expression, as if of relief, ‘Let us cross over the river, and rest under the shade of the trees.’”

Stonewall Jackson was 39 years old.

A stone monument noting the deathplace of Stonewall Jackson in May of 1863. A plain gray granite rough-cut stone.

The Clock That Witnessed Stonewall Jackson’s Death

Clock on the mantel where Stonewall Jackson died.
The clock still sits on the mantel where Stonewall Jackson died.

When the building is open to the public, visitors can stand in the room where Jackson died, see his bed, and hear the ticking of the same clock that he heard the last moments of his life.

It is the clock that Dr. McGuire used to record the time of his death: 3:15 p.m. on May 10.

The clock, blanket and bed are said to have been saved thanks to a 12-year-old girl named Lucy Chandler, the daughter of the plantation’s owner.

When Jackson passed away, Lucy was distraught. She told her mother that she wanted to trade places with Jackson because only her parents would be upset if she died, but the whole South would be upset if Jackson died.

When she became older, Lucy tucked away the clock, blankets, and some relics and kept a diagram of what the room looked like when Jackson passed away. The room and the building are set up with the help of that diagram.

It is said that Lucy also placed four Confederate flags on the posts of the bed, and that is how the site became known as a shrine. Needless to say, that piece of history has been removed and is likely lost forever.

Related Story: Read about a forgotten family cemetery in North Carolina that holds a tragic tale about a notable Confederate figure during the Civil War.

The South Weeps Over Jackson’s Death

By the time the train carrying General Jackson’s remains entered the outskirts of Richmond, an immense crowd had gathered, the largest in the history of the city. The train slowed to a crawl, then proceeded ahead for two miles to the station, surrounded by thousands of bareheaded men and weeping women.

Church bells tolled and guns split the air. All businesses in the city were closed, and black crape hung everywhere.

The entire South was in mourning.

Visiting The Stonewall Jackson Death Site

The Stonewall Jackson Shrine can be reached from I-95 by taking Exit 118 (Highway 606) and driving east on 606 for about four miles.

During your visit you may hear a CSX Transportation train rumble past the site on the old Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac line.

There are interpretive signs, a parking lot and restrooms on the premises.

The grounds are open during daylight hours, but the building is only open on weekends in the summer from 9 am. until 5 p.m.

Where Is Stonewall Jackson Buried?

Stonewall Jackson has two burial sites. His arm was laid to rest at Ellwood Manor, but the remainder of his body was buried at Oak Grove Cemetery–more than 100 miles away.

Jackson’s burial site is called the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery at Oak Grove (314 Main Street, Lexington, VA). He is buried beneath a statue sculpted by Edward V. Valentine that was dedicated July 21, 1981.

Lexington is located off routes 64 and 81, and the grave is a 9 minute drive from the highway intersection. There is free parking around the cemetery.

Burial Of Stonewall Jackson’s Arm

After Jackson was wounded and his arm amputated, chaplain Beverly Tucker Lacy noticed the general’s arm, wrapped up where it would be buried in a ditch with other amputated limbs.

Believing that the arm deserved a better fate, Lacy had the arm buried in a family plot at Ellwood Manor (a home owned by Lacy’s brother).

Confederate staff officer James Power Smith had a granite monument erected for the gravesite of the arm in 1903, although it is not known how accurately Smith’s marker represents the true location.

Stonewall Jackson's arm monument is a small stone marker in a field with a wooden fence and historical marker in the background.
Stone monument marking the burial place of Stonewall Jackson’s arm.

Pro Tip: If you’re interested, you can also visit the site where Stonewall Jackson was wounded near Spotsylvania Courthouse. The marker can be reached from Plank Road (State Highway 3), on the right when traveling west. It’s located behind the Chancellorsville Visitors Center on the “Wounding of Stonewall Jackson” walking trail. At or near this postal address: 9001 Plank Rd, Spotsylvania VA.

Other Historic Sites in Virginia

Winchester, VA changed hands multiple times during the Civil War and the house that was used as Jackson’s headquarters is open for tours.

The beautiful Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond VA is where many notable Civil War figures are buried including JEB Stuart, George Pickett, and Jefferson Davis.

Many people don’t realize that Robert E. Lee’s Arlington House is located in Arlington Cemetery. The property was taken from the Confederate general’s family during the Civil War and used as a burial site.

Virginia is full of historic small towns like Waterford, which dates to the 1700s and Aldie, which has a mill made famous during the Civil War.

Warrenton, VA is another historic small town that changed hands many times during the War Between the States, as did Middleburg, VA.

Near the Stonewall Jackson Shrine: Chancellorsville Battlefield and Visitor Center

Frequently Asked Questions

How Far Is The Stonewall Jackson Death Site From I-95?

The Stonewall Jackson Death Site is less than 4.5 miles from the highway.

When Is The Stonewall Jackson Death Site Open?

You can walk the grounds during daylight hours, but the building where Stonewall Jackson died is only open on weekends during the summer from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

What Did Thomas Stonewall Jackson Die From?

Stonewall Jackson was wounded by friendly fire and had his arm amputated. His cause of death is said to be pneumonia.

Book cover for From the Heart: Love Letters from the Civil War by Jessica James shows a rose and paper on the cover.

Stonewall Jackson’s Love Letter To Wife

I love to read about the personal side of the Civil War’s greatest hero’s, especially love letters. In fact, I wrote a book with some of my favorites, called From The Heart.

Here is a letter General Jackson wrote to his wife on September 25, 1862.

Darling, my heart turns to you with a love so great that pain flows in its wake. You cannot understand this, my beautiful, bright-eyed, sunny-hearted princess. Your face is the sweetest face in all the world, mirroring, as it does, all that is pure and unselfish, and I must not cast a shadow over it by the fears that come to me, in spite of myself.

No, a soldier should not know fear of any kind. I must fight and plan and hope, and you must pray. Pray for a realization of all our beautiful dreams, sitting beside our own hearthstone in our own home – you and I, you my goddess of devotion, and I your devoted slave. May God in his mercy spare my life and make it worthy of you!

Your soldier

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10 Comments

  1. Thank you for that beautiful recapture of General Jackson’s last days/hours. I’m a latecomer to the South, but I adore her; reading this makes my affection grow deeper. It adds to my conviction that we are missing something significant as to the reasons and motives of men like Jackson and Lee fought for the South. Their deep faith and gentle inner spirits suggest something greater and more worthy (without agreeing in any way to the ownership of another God image-bearer) than what we are told or read in our history books. And living in the South, that “something” lingers in the air; yet, sadly, I cannot put my finger on it.

    But thank you for this lovely reminder that very good men fought heroically for the South and no political correctness can change that, for the One who knows all, knows our hearts.

  2. It saddens me to think how our history is currently being distorted to the point of villainizing honorable men.

  3. Brave men fought on both sides in the Civil War. We should honor their sacrifice and keep them in our memory.

  4. Its to bad history is being rewritten. I’m so glad my kids got to know the truth about these men and others. For vacations we traveled many battlefields and cemetery with our kids that’s what they wanted to do after they found out they had a ancestor who died at Gettysburg in the wheat field.

    1. That’s wonderful that your kids are interested in history. I have an article coming out in the Epoch Times over the Fourth of July on Gettysburg — mainly focused on Jennie Wade, the only civilian killed during the battle.