704 Sunken Road, Fredericksburg, Virginia
During the Civil War, Brompton was known as “The Marye Mansion” and served as a hospital and headquarters during the war. Today, Brompton is the private residence of the University of Mary Washington’s president.
“The pillars of the porch…were speckled with the marks of bullets. Shells and solid shot had made sad havoc with the walls and the woodwork inside. The windows were shivered, the partitions torn to pieces, and the doors perforated.” Traveler John T. Trowbridge, September 1865
A home, a headquarters, and a hospital: each of these terms accurately describes “Brompton,” the large brick house on the hill above you. Built around 1824, the building was home to John L. Marye, a prominent lawyer and businessman. During the Battle of Fredericksburg, the 3rd South Carolina Infantry took position on front of Brompton, while Colonel James B. Walton of the Washington Artillery made the building his headquarters. Seventeen months later, in May 1864, the house became a hospital for Union soldiers wounded in the Overland Campaign. “No available space was left unoccupied,” remembered a Union surgeon. “The poor fellows just arrived had not had their clothes off since they were wounded, and were sleeping in blood and filth, and were swarming with vermin. They lay as close as they could be packed.” Today Brompton is owned by the University of Mary Washington.
The scars of bullets pock the south facade of Brompton in this May 1864 image. The gabled roof visible today was added after the war.