Hartwood Presbyterian Church stands near the site of “Yellow Chapel,” an Episcopalian chapel of convenience. The Presbyterians, purchased the chapel in 1825. After thirty years, the congregation grew out of the structure. The current building was built around 1858.
The church had a storied Civil War history with several cavalry engagements and numerous references to it in “letters written home.” The most significant engagement was on February 25, 1863, during the Union Army of the Potomac’s “Valley Forge”-period in Stafford. A Confederate 400-man raiding force under Brig. Gen. Fitzhugh Lee surprised the Union forces in a snow storm and drove them back to the infantry lines at Berea Church. This tested the 20 day-old Cavalry Corps (found wanting); but, it led to a large Union retaliatory raid to Kelly’s Ford on March 17, 1863.