Even though Resurrection Church was over 30 years old by the time of the Battle of South Mountain, a massive renovation had taken place in 1860 resulting in the raising of the ceiling and roof by several feet, additions to the front and back of the church, and new interior furnishings.
The court of claims case for the Resurrection Reformed Church is not as clear and dry as the case for St. Paul’s Church. Initially, the congregation requested $1,200.00 in payment for rent and damages to the building occurring between September 14, 1862 and January 31, 1863. The case initially seems to go in favor of granting the full amount, but then the Treasury Department turns up a receipt which is dated August 1863 and states that the church was paid $351.50. After this revelation in the case, the court decided against payment to the church. An argument drawn up in support of the 1863 payment by the defendant’s lawyer and one against the payment by the claimant’s lawyer survive.
The most valuable part of these documents however is the eyewitness testimony. Greenberry Jacob Ridgely House, a prominent figure in the church throughout the latter half of the 19th century, provides a detailed description of the building as it was in 1862, including what changes had been made to the building in the renovations of 1860. Henry Wiener’s testimony sparked controversy in the case when he stated that the church was worth $20,000.00 in 1862. However, Henrietta Biser’s testimony is perhaps the best known for its vivid imagery of the scene inside the hospital. Her testimony is read by many who pass by SMHS today and stop to read the Civil War Trails roadside marker out front.
*Please note, the originals of these documents are preserved at the U.S. National Archives and therefore any reproduction of any kind is strictly prohibited.