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.
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
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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