From the 1 January 1898 issue of The New York Times.


New Chapel at Fort Hamilton to be Dedicated on Wednesday by Bishop Littlejohn.


To Take the Place of the Church in Which “Stonewall” Jackson Was Baptized and Where Gen. R. E. Lee Was Once a Vestryman.

The little church of St. John’s, at Fort Hamilton, in which Gen. Robert E. Lee was a vestryman, and in which Gen. “Stonewall” Jackson was baptized, is now no more. Its place is taken by an artistic house of worship to be consecrated Wednesday morning by the Bishop of Long Island, the Rev. Richard F. Putnam, clergyman in charge, and the Reve. J. Russell Townsend, of Brooklyn.

St. John’s was built sixty-three years ago as a result of the efforts of the Rev. Dixon Carder, of Ithaca, N.Y., who came to Fort Hamilton for his health and two officers stationed at the fort. Mr. Carder was for eleven years in charge of the parish. For a time the worshippers met in the mansion of the Denyse Farm. Previously the fort and a schoolhouse had been used. The work of building the church on the property, 100×125 feet, was begun when but $300 was subscribed.

St. John’s was the third Episcopal Church built in Kings County, the two older structures being St. Ann’s and St. John’s, and was the first erected outside the city limits. “Dominie” Johnson, who had built St. John’s of Brooklyn from his own purse, gave substantial aid to the building fund, while old Trinity subscribed $500. The total cost was $2,200. At the laying of the cornerstone in March, 1835, the garrison of the fort were present in full dress. Bishop Onderdonk and the Rev. Hugh Smith conducted the ceremonies.

While the Rev. Mr. Carder was rector the church was a post chaplaincy, and each Sabbath the garrison attended service. During the Mexican war the garrison was in the field, and the chaplaincy became a regular parish church. From 1853 to 1876 the parishioners labored under heavey burdens, due to the breaking out of the yellow fever, the burning down of a country house whose Summer visitors gave a large revenue for the support of the church, and the starting of a new church in Bay Ridge, which sapped the attendance at St. John’s. In 1876 there was a renewed impulse when the Rev. R. B. Snowden came to take charge. For two years previously the church had been closed. The congregation was built up to a satisfactory degree, and in 1884 jubilee commemoration exercises were held.

The decision to build a new church was reached three years ago, when Col. Loomis L. Langdon was in command at the fort. The funds were almost entirely raised by three women of the parish. Building was begun last June under the direction of Col. Langdon. The church is very simple in construction, and bears the general appearance of a military chapel, though it is such no longer. All the windows will be memorials, the most noteworthy being in memory of Gen. Henry W. Slocum, at one time lieutenant of the First Artillery. Thomas Jonathan (Stonewall) Jackson was baptized in this church by the Rev. M. Scofield, April 29, 1849. Gen. Robert E. Lee was a prominent member when attached to the engineeer corps of the garrison.