On a hilltop with a view of Fredericksburg, Chatham is one of several spectacularly sited eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century houses in Falmouth, including Belmont and Carlton (c. 1785; 501 Melchers Drive). The first owner of the seven-bay brick house was William Fitzhugh, the grandfather of Robert E. Lee. Chatham was the Union army headquarters during the Battle of Fredericksburg. Merrill Lee (not of the same family) extensively renovated and restored the house and removed the porches (c. 1840), which had been part of the house during the Union occupation. The interior has some fine detailing, such as the Doric pilasters on the chimney breast in the east room.
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