The Top 5 Most Overlooked Civil War Sites in New York City #4: St. John’s Episcopal Church

by Brett Schulte on April 7, 2014 · 2 comments

Editor’s Note: Bill Morgan, the author of The Civil War Lover’s Guide to New York City (published by Savas Beatie), was kind enough to offer up his list of the top 5 most overlooked Civil War sites in the Big Apple as a series of guest posts here at TOCWOC – A Civil War Blog.  Bill’s introduction will be followed by one overlooked NYC site per week, every Monday for the next five Mondays.  Join Bill here at TOCWOC – A Civil War Blog, as he counts down his list.

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The Top 5 Most Overlooked Civil War Sites in New York City

by Bill Morgan

#4 ST. JOHN’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH

9818 Fort Hamilton Parkway, Brooklyn. Hours: T–F 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.,

Sunday worship at 10:00 a.m. General information: www.saintjohns1834.org or

(718) 745-2377.

St Johns Episcopal Church 500x338 The Top 5 Most Overlooked Civil War Sites in New York City #4: St. Johns Episcopal Church

St. John’s Episcopal Church.

The little St. John’s Episcopal Church was founded in 1834 for officers stationed at nearby Fort Hamilton. For that reason it has become known as the “Church of the Generals.” Robert E. Lee was a vestryman at the church from 1842 to 1844 while posted to the fort. In front of St. John’s at 99th Street and Fort Hamilton Parkway stands a tree with a commemorative plaque reading: “This tree was planted by General Robert Edward Lee while stationed at Fort Hamilton from 1842-1847. The tree has been restored and this tablet placed upon it by the New York Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy, April 1912.” In the 1930s, a new tree was planted; the plaque remains, updated to indicate the replaced tree.

Stonewall Jackson was baptized at St. John’s on April 29, 1849. The baptismal font is still in use today. Few know that he was a devout Christian as well as an exceptional general. General Henry Warner Slocum, the Union general who was severely wounded at the first battle of Bull Run, also worshipped here, as did Civil War generals Henry J. Hunt, John Sedgwick, Loomis Langdon, Harvey Brown, and Joseph Bailey.


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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Savas Beatie April 8, 2014 at 11:09 am

Thanks for this post, Bill Morgan, and A Civil War Blog for providing a platform to continue this discussion. St. John’s Episcopal Church is an example of a truly hidden gem of the Civil War in New York City. It would be hard to guess the historical importance of this church unless it was pointed out to readers! We look forward to seeing your final post next week.

You can read more information about the book, including an excerpt and author interview, at publisher Savas Beatie’s website here: http://tinyurl.com/d8a57vc

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Fred Ray April 9, 2014 at 2:45 pm

Little known fact that there is a New York Chapter of the UDC. Who knew?

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