From John Hennessy:
Last May, we did a two-part series on the Fredericksburg Fairgrounds (often called Mercer Square), which consumed much of what we now know as the Bloody Plain. Take a look at those posts here and here. Included in the second is a conjectural sketch done by Frank O’Reilly that included his best estimate, then, of the Fairgrounds. Here is the image as published back in May (click to enlarge).
You will recall that this image was created as a reference for an original piece of art that is still in development. Since then, we have learned more about the Fairgrounds, most notably in the form of a sketch done by a visitor during the Confederate encampment there in 1861, published in the Library of Virginia’s magazine, Broadside. Here is that image (the original is at the Huntington Library).
This by far is the best image we have of the Fairgrounds, and it has further refined our understanding of the Fairgrounds complex as it existed in 1861. Frank, a skilled sketch artist, has gone ahead and embodied all that we now know in a new sketch, which we share here.
Such is the progression of our learning and understanding, in this instance fortuitously embodied in art for all to see.