Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Grace Episcopal Church and Cemetery West Feliciana Parish

Grace Episcopal Church Cemetery, by flickr user smp7880, taken in 2008, West Feliciana Parish. The church was formed around 1827 and the building contructed about 1858-1860 by the architect Charles Nevitt Gibbons. It  has survived a shelling during the Civil War and has been on the Louisiana Register of Historic Places since 1979. View a 1979 photograph of the church and cemetery here.

"It was in this church building that in May, 1861, the Diocesan Convention voted that the Diocese of Louisiana was no longer part of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States. 25 But it is also in this churchyard that a young officer in charge of the Federal steamer Albatross was buried in 1863. The officer had asked that he be buried on shore with Masonic ceremonies, so under a flag of truce a group of men from the Albatross made contact with a past master of Feliciana Lodge, and Masonic ceremonies were held over the grave which was prepared in Grace Church cemetery. This grave is marked with a flat marble slab with the Masonic emblem engraved into it.

When the Federal troops seized Baton Rouge, they made it a center from which their
gunboats ranged north and south. Guerrillas at Bayou Sara sniped at the boats from the banks, and in retaliation Bayou Sara and St. Francisville were bombarded. The new Grace Church building was sighted and bombarded. One shell entering at the front corner of the building dislodged large masses of brickwork and landed in the chancel, but failed to detonate. Had this shell exploded, it would have all but destroyed the church. Another shell passed through the organ. After this incident, services in the church were impossible. " - LA Historic Preservation
Read more about the church from the Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation's National Register website.



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