After the May 3, 1863, fighting at Chancellorsville, the Confederates gathered up 500 wounded Union soldiers and brought them here to Fairview. For more than a week the helpless men lay in the yard around the house, receiving little medical care, exposed to the wind and the rain, lying in the mud. Wounds festered and became infected. Insects attracted by piles of corpses nearby inflicted painful bites. Dozens of soldiers died; many others prayed that they might be taken too.
A team of Union surgeons arrived at Fairview on May 5. Using the door of the house as an operating table, they commenced treating wounded arms and limbs - often with amputation, an average of four per hour. Although the surgeons toiled for a week, many patients still received no attention. Finally on May 12, Union ambulances arrived under a flag of truce to carry the survivors to hospitals north of the Rappahannock.
There was no food, no nursing, and no medicine to dull the pain of those who were in torture. The majority were crowded together, had no covering tents, and many very little in the way of blankets to lie on or for cover. All were so weak they could scarcely move hand or foot.
Corporal Rice C. Bull, 123rd New York