From Hennessy: [Note: click on images to enlarge them.]
There is a persistent and oft-repeated local belief that the famous photograph below is NOT in fact of buildings at the junction of Hanover and George Streets. I have had probably a dozen people argue that the photo is someplace else. To put that to rest, I offer up a couple of images that prove, I think conclusively, that the image is indeed of houses at the junction of Hanover and George Streets–Sandy Bottom, as it was known.
Most importantly, the steeple on the right edge of the image is without question the steeple of St. George’s Episcopal Church, which still stands at the corner of George and Princess Anne Street. More proof comes from an equally famous photograph taken about 200 yards to the right of this image–the famous panorama of the Fields in front of Marye’s Heights that we have used as our banner image, above. I post below a detail from that image.
This image was taken from in front of Federal Hill on Hanover Street, looking westward across what we have come to call the “Bloody Plain” in front of Marye’s Heights. Look closely at the building on the left of the row of buildings at the junction of Hanover and George. It matches precisely the nearest building in the banner photograph: the corner is gone, the pattern of windows is the same, etc. While the pile of bricks in the close-in view is gone in the Federal Hill view, there can be little doubt that we are looking at the same set of buildings in both images.
By the way, at least two of the buildings in Hanover/George image were owned by Peter Goolrick, the man who in 1860 owned more property in Fredericksburg than anyone else. An Irish immigrant who arrived in Fredericksburg at age 17 and built a fortune, his house still stands at 723 Caroline Street–at the corner of Hanover and Caroline. Today the building houses, ironically, Irish Eyes, a specialty shop.