Civil War graffiti uncovered in WV parish church

Morgan’s Chapel, a pre-colonial war parish in West Virginia, was in the process of performing some needed renovations to the nave when something very unexpected appeared. The removal of the modern layers of paint uncovered a wealth of notes written on the wall.

“The graffiti appears to have been left behind by both Northern and Southern troops who served during the Civil War, he said. It covers much of the inside of the building.

‘It appears to be as high as people could reach,’ Klusemyer said. ‘It’s down low. It’s up high. It’s just everywhere.’

Many of the writings were simply names with dates scribbled nearby. Klusemyer said the dates hailed from the days of the Civil War and they were accompanied by the artists’ regiments.

Other comments that lined the walls were more extensive, he said.

Klusemyer said one soldier wrote, ‘I should not have written on the walls of the house of God. I would not have done so if it had not already been marked up.’ Another stated, ‘It’s not our rebellion,’ and a third comment read, ‘Down with traitors, treason and copperheads.’

Klusemyer said some were written by those who appeared to have believed that they might not live much longer. The individuals left behind requests for prayers written on the church’s walls.”

Read the full article here.

Some of our parishes may look a little run down, but that’s cause they’ve been lived in and are filled with history.

The parish in Delaware from which I was ordained started its life as an English block fort at the point on the Delaware River where it narrowed enough so that one could fire a canon clear across to the other shore. I suppose because of that history we shouldn’t have been surprised when, during renovations following a devastating fire, a number of unmarked graves were found clustered under one corner of the church floor.

It seemed odd at the time, but over the years, such stories have helped me to understand that the Church is not our personal possession but belongs to those who went before and those who will come after.

How about your parish? Any interesting historical stories?

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