Re-pointing Brickwork at the Fredericksburg National Cemetery - Phase 3
The brick wall that encloses the Fredericksburg National Cemetery is 2,880 in length and contains a surface area of 23,630 square feet. There are 147 four-foot six-inch brick piers with cut brick caps that divide the wall into 146 sections. Each section has two framed brick panels. The wall was built in the 1870s and requires routine maintenance. Mortar joints often require re-pointing and deteriorated/damaged bricks often need to be replaced. Decades ago, Portland cement was used on some mortar joints and the result has been damage to the bricks and overall wall panels.
In 2016, staff from the HACE visited the national cemetery and assessed the needs for brick re-pointing and brick replacement. HACE identified nine panels that required complete reconstruction due to being beyond repair. This entailed the dismantling of the panels and the rebuilding of them using what material could be salvaged with new material. The remaining 138 panels received attention through re-pointing and brick replacement as needed. This work constituted Phases 1 and 2 of a multi-year project and was completed in 2018.
2022 Project Description / Summary:
This is the third phase of repointing/reconstruction of the boundary wall. While Phase 1 included full reconstruction of just nine badly deteriorated panels, Phase 2 comprised a hybrid scope of repair, repointing and reconstruction of piers and/or panels; Phase 3 also combines repair, repointing and reconstruction, as needed. The design intent and preservation mandate is to preserve as much historic material as possible.
The existing boundary wall included in the current project (45 panels and associated piers) totals approximately 1,015 feet long, presenting a total exposed surface area of approximately 8,840 square feet. The scope of work covers mortared brick wall panels, plinths, cornices, copings and piers. At the northeast quadrant, some panels traverse steep slopes, while others serve as retaining walls.
Phase 3 Objectives:
This project will repair, repoint and/or reconstruct front and rear faces of forty-five (45) different boundary wall panels, including corbeled bases, recessed panels, pilasters, cornices, copings and piers, as follows:
• Repair, repointing and/or partial or total reconstruction of interior and exterior sides of thirty-six (36) cemetery boundary wall sections designated as Panels 94-101, 105, 107-126, 132 and 136-141.
• Reconstruction of panels and piers (or panels only in some cases) for nine (9) additional cemetery boundary wall sections designated as Panels 102, 106, 133, 134, 135, 142, 143, 144 and 145. Please note that Panels 142 - 145 serve as retaining walls along Sunken Road and the proposed work may include "excavation, temporary shoring, and backfill." In addition, tree stumps and/or roots may need to be removed. The exact means and methods (including equipment selected) of excavation will be left to the General Contractor's discretion but will most likely be via mechanical means (i.e. mini-excavator with a narrow bucket).
The extent of effort on each portion of each section varies by its respective existing condition and, accordingly, the scope of work is intended to preserve as much historic fabric as possible. Replacement bricks used in this project will be bricks closely matching originals in size, color and texture.
Henry P. Elliott
The Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania NMP proposes to re-point and repair the brick wall enclosing the Fredericksburg National Cemetery as Phase 3 of a multi-year initiative to be executed by the NPS's Historic Architecture, Conversation, and Engineering Center (HACE), park staff, and contractors. Proposed work for FY23 includes full reconstruction of panels and piers for nine (9) cemetery boundary wall sections and the repair, repointing, and/or partial or total reconstruction of interior and exterior sides of thirty-six (36) additional cemetery boundary wall sections.