The Virginia Pyramid—A Small Puzzle Solved

We’ll get to serious topics down the road, but let’s start with a small puzzle that presented itself on a few trips down to Richmond, Virginia on Amtrak’s Northeast Regional.  Just south of Fredericksburg, in a field on the east side of the tracks, there is a remarkable stone pyramid.  After glimpsing it a couple of times, on the way back last October I held my camera by the window and waited for it to appear.  I got the shot:


The blur in the foreground, of course, is because  of the moving train.  Today I posted the picture on the MacResource Forum, which I frequent.  The ‘stute* members there quickly responded: It was a monument erected in 1897 to commemorate General Meade’s breakthrough of Southern lines at the Battle of Fredericksburg:

Mysterious Confederate Pyramid 23 feet tall and built of granite stones. It’s visible in the distance from a parking lot at the end of Lee Drive, where there’s a plaque that reads:

“Usually thought of as a Union monument, the large pyramid in front of you was in fact erected by the Confederate Memorial Literary Society. In 1897, the society contacted Virginia railroad executives asking them to erect markers at historically significant sites along their lines. The president of the Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac Railroad embraced the proposal, but rather than simply erecting a sign, he constructed a stone pyramid modeled after the memorial to the unknown Confederate dead buried in Richmond’s Hollywood Cemetery.”

“The Monument here marks the point where General George G. Meade’s Union division penetrated the boggy gap in ‘Stonewall’ Jackson’s lines on December 13, 1862. Over the years it has become known as the Meade Pyramid. The monument is not accessible.”

Well, it’s accessible if you walk across a big field and then cross the train tracks, but the tracks are heavily used, so crossing them isn’t recommended.

[Dean Jeffrey, 09/04/2010]

Quote from

Of course one wag on the MacResource Forum ventured that “It’s a landing platform for the Goa’uld.”  I had no idea who the Goa’uld were, but a quick search tells me that they were a strange alien species introduced on the TV show Stargate.  Since these are fictional aliens, one may presume that they did not at some point collude with the Confederate Memorial Literary Society in 1897 to build a landing ‘platform’.

* ‘stute: Rudyard Kipling, Just So Stories


4 thoughts on “The Virginia Pyramid—A Small Puzzle Solved

  1. Do the research. Meade’s men breeched the line yet retreated due to the 40% loss of the Pennsylvania regiment. To have continued would have meant more loss. The pyramid was sited as a visual point for train passengers and is not the exact location.

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