Charlottesville General Hospital, Charlottesville Manufacturing Company, Charlottesville, Virginia, Fluvanna County, Virginia, General John Hartwell Cocke

The Charlottesville African Church Congregation Held Meetings In The Delevan Building That Was Constructed By War Of 1812 Veteran General John Hartwell Cocke

In 1828, General John Hartfield Cocke, a War of 1812 Veteran who was a friend of then deceased United States President Thomas Jefferson, built the Delevan building, which was also known as “Mudwall”, in Charlottesville, Virginia. That same year General Cocke was also building a new Fluvanna County Courthouse and a stone jail, currently called the “Old Stone Jail” in Palmyra, Virginia.

Sketch of the University of Virginia’s anatomical theater in the foreground. In addition to General Cocke’s Delevan building, and various other local buildings, both the theatre and the Rotundra were part of the the Charlottesville General Hospital.

During the United States Civil War, also referred to as the “War Between the States”, the Delevan building became part of Charlottesville General Hospital, that the Confederate government established after the Battle of First Manassas. In addition, the Albemarle Courthouse, the Charlottesville Townhall, the anatomical theatre and the Rotundra at the University of Virginia, various homes and hotels were all part of the makeshift Charlottesville General Hospital. After the Battle of First Manassas, the Delevan Hospital, also called the Mudwall Hospital, received the first wounded troops from a nearby Virginia Center Railroad station. On March 3rd, 1865, Union General Philip Henry Sheridan, and his calvary, occupied the town of Charlottesville. At the time, the Charlottesville mayor, Charlottesville town council members and University of Virginia professors asked the Union for protection as the Charlottesville General Hospital fell under Union control. During the occupation, the Union accidently burnt down a textile mill, owned by the Charlottesville Manufacturing Company, while attempting to burn down a Virginia Center Railroad trestle in the Woolen Mills District. However, no other buildings were burnt down, during the occupation, and General George Armstrong Custer temporarily in a Charlottesville historic home called, “The Farm”.

In 1864, before the Union occupation of Charlottesville, the Charlottesville African Church Congregation was organized. In 1868, that congregation bought the property, where the Delevan Hospital had once stood, in order to erect a house of worship. In 1877 construction began on the Delevan Baptist Church, which was also known as the First Baptist Church. In 1883, construction of the baptist church was completed and it has been a place for Christians to worship ever since.

Author’s Note:

A historical marker for the Charlottesville General Hospital is posted on the grounds of the University of Virginia, in an area formerly known as Monument Square, next to where the George Roger’s Clark Monument used to be until the university relocated that historical statue to storage on July 11th, 2021.