The R. E. Lee Camp No. 1 was founded by Confederate Veterans in April of 1883, with the purpose of taking care of homeless, wounded, and destitute Confederate Veterans. In 1884 a Great National Fund Raising Effort Occurred, with Many Northern G.A.R. Posts Contributing, along with General Grant. A 36 Acre Tract of Land was Purchased from the Robinson family, for a place to care for the Veterans with shelter and medical care. And, in December of 1884, the R. E. Lee Camp Soldiers' Home in Richmond opened for Needy Confederate Veterans.

The Pelham or "Confederate War Memorial Chapel" was erected May 8th, 1887 in memory of all of the Confederate war dead, with the Chapel becoming a meeting place and worship center for the veterans who resided at the R. E. Lee Camp Soldiers' Home. The Confederate Veterans themselves, many of them disabled and impoverished, funded the construction. The Artillery Veteran's Associations of Richmond raised money for the beautiful Stained-Glass Windows featuring Memorials to the Dead of the Units. CSA Major, Marion J. Dimmock, Sr., a famed Virginia Architect, designed the Gothic Revival structure, and Joseph F. Wingfield, the Contractor who built it. Many of the Veterans Themselves helped with the Labor and Efforts, using a Steam Saw cutting board timber from the Oak Grove on the grounds of the Camp.

The chapel was used regularly for Veteran Meetings, Sunday Services, and "Last Roll Call Services". More than 1,700 Confederate Veterans "Last Roll Calls" were held here, until Stonewall Jackson's messenger, Sgt. Jack Blizzard, the last resident veteran, died in 1941. Well known Richmond Pastors often rotated services at the Chapel, and there were times when members of the Commonwealth of Virginia General Assembly visited for special Christmas Services. The Citizens of Richmond loved Visiting the Soldiers, and the Children were alway fascinated with the Old Soldiers. When the last Confederate Veterans passed, the home was then closed and the buildings were demolished, except for the Chapel and the Soldiers' Home Office - the superintendent's dwelling (Robinson House).

The Pelham Chapel, unused for a period of time, was restored in 1960-1961 - in time for the 100 year anniversary for the Civil War. The Chapel is known as the "Confederate War Memorial Chapel", granted with the same status of a Confederate Monument. The Chapel is a National and State of Virginia Historic Landmark. A Chapel Guide, from the SCV Lee-Jackson Camp No. 1 SCV; Interprets the founding of the Lee Camp, the history of the Chapel, and the history of Lee Camp Soldiers' Home. The Chapel is Open "Free to the Public" - Wednesday to Sunday, from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm.

To keep the Confederate Memorial Chapel open to the Public, a 501 Non-Profit Association was formed:
SEND Contributions To:

"Friends Of The Confederate War Memorial Chapel Association"
C/O Lee-Jackson Camp No. 1 S.C.V.
P.O. Box 71256
Richmond, VA 23255-1256