Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County Battlefields Memorial National Military Park Things to Do

  • mc coull house 1864
    mc coull house 1864
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  • new york and new jersey monuments
    new york and new jersey monuments
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  • site of harrison farm
    site of harrison farm
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Most Recent Things to Do in Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County Battlefields Memorial National Military Park

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    confederate cemetery

    by doug48 Updated Sep 3, 2012

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    the fredericksburg confederate cemetery was established by the ladies memorial association in 1867. six confederate generals and 3,300 confederate soldiers are inturned here. many of those buried in the confederate cemetery were reinturned from battle sites in the fredericksburg area. the monument in the center of the cemetery was erected in 1884.

    confederate cemetery confederate memorial
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    fairview

    by doug48 Updated Jan 15, 2012

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    after the union abandoned hazels grove they set up artillery positions at fairview. union troops under the command of general daniel sickles. sickles dug artillery pits and aimed their cannon at hazels grove. by now the forces of general's lee and stuart had reunited as a single army. after a five hour artillery duel the confederates forced sickles from fairview. this confederate victory allowed lee to continue on to chancellors inn.
    fairview is stop # 10 on the chancellorsville auto tour.

    union guns at fairview view of hazels grove from fairview union general daniel sickles general j. e. b. stuart CSA
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    thomas jackson shrine

    by doug48 Updated Dec 28, 2011

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    pictured is an out building on thomas chandler's 740 acre fairfield plantation. confederate general thomas "stonewall" jackson died in this building on may 10 th 1863. on may 2 nd just after his brilliant victory during the battle of chancellorsville he was mistakenly shot in the arm by one of his own men. after his arm was amputated near ellwood manor jackson was moved by ambulance to fairfield. jackson's doctors planned to stabilize jackson's condition at fairfield then move him by train to richmond and the medical expertise available there. however jackson contracted pneumonia and his condition grew worse. as jackson grew physically weaker he said "it is the lords day; my wish is fufilled, i have always desired to die on sunday". at 3:15 PM may 10 th 1863 in the presence of his chief surgeon hunter mc guire jackson said with an expression, as if in relief "let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees" and died. the death of general thomas jackson was a great loss to the confederacy.

    fairfield plantation office thomas jackson's death bed general thomas jackson CSA
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    heth's salient

    by doug48 Updated Dec 6, 2011

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    pictured is heth's salient which was part of the larger mule shoe salient. on the morning of may 12 th union general grant ordered ambrose burnsides's IX corps to take heth's salient. the confederates held the line in the morning hours and in the afternoon the forces of confederate general jubal early counter attacked. after almost 20 hours of fierce fighting the union suffered 9,000 casualities and the confederates 8,000.
    heth's salient is stop # 7 on the spotsylvania battlefield auto tour.

    heth general henry heth CSA general jubal early CSA union general ambrose burnside
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    prospect hill

    by doug48 Updated Nov 15, 2011

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    prospect hill was a confederate defensive position just west of downtown fredericksburg. from this point confederate artillery could shell union positions in downtown fredericksburg. union general ambrose burnside ordered generals george meade, abner doubleday, and john reynolds to take the this position. after a day long battle the forces of confederate generals a. p. hill and william taliaferro held the hill and the union forces had to withdrawl back into fredericksburg.

    confederate cannons union general george meade union general abner doubleday general a. p. hill CSA general william taliaferro
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    jackson's attack

    by doug48 Updated Oct 18, 2011

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    after positioning his army to the west of chancellorsville jackson attacked the union 11 th corps. around 5:00 pm on may 2 nd. the 11 th corps were commanded by generals oliver o. howard, charles devens, adolph von steinwehr and colonel leopold von gilsa. this majority german division was deployed on the bush back line which is the line of trees in the picture. jackson's 28,000 man army quickly over ran the 9,000 union solders of 11 th corps. part of the union collapse was blamed on general devens. deven's inattention of the exposed right flank of his division helped jackson launch his sucessful attack. deven's failure to react to jackson's flanking movement may have been due to his heavy drinking that day in an attempt to dull the pain of a previous injury. this attack was general thomas jackson's last victory before his wounding later that night.

    wagner track general thomas jackson CSA union general oliver o. howard union general charles devens union general adolph von steinwehr
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    hazels grove

    by doug48 Updated Aug 1, 2011

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    after the wounding of general jackson on the evening of may 2 nd general j. e. b. stuart took over command of his army. on the morning of may 3 rd stuart turned the attention of jackson's corps to hazels grove. hazels grove was large open plateau that was a key position in the battlefield. just before dawn general joseph hooker withdrew his troops from this position to fairview in the direction of chancellorsville. had general hooker strongly defended the plateau he could have kept the confederate army divided and he may have defeated it one piece at a time. no sooner than the union evacuted the plateau general lee brought in over thirty cannon commanded by colonel edward alexander and shelled the union line at fairview 1,200 yards away. after five hours of fighting the union abandoned fairview and retreated toward the rappahannock.
    hazels grove is stop # 9 on the chancellorsville auto tour.

    confederate cannon at hazels grove confederate cannon at hazels grove confederate cannon at hazels grove colonel edward alexander CSA
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    lee and jackson's bivouac

    by doug48 Updated Jul 14, 2011

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    on the evening of may 1 st 1863 generals robert e. lee and thomas "stonewall" jackson devised one of the boldest schemes in american military history. at this site the two generals plotted how to destroy union general joseph hooker's 75,000 man army now entrenched around chancellorsville. the solution came when cavalry general j. e. b. stuart reported that the union right flank was unprotected. the following day jackson marched his 30,000 man army twelve miles to position himself behind hooker's army. on the morning of may 2 nd jackson left the confederate camp and he and general lee would never meet again.
    the lee and jackson bivouac is stop # 5 on the chancellorsville auto tour.

    site of lee and jackson general robert e. lee CSA general thomas jackson CSA general j. e. b. stuart CSA
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    east face of the salient

    by doug48 Updated Jul 12, 2011

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    pictured are remnants of confederate trenches on the east face of the mule shoe salient. after the union break through of the confederate line on may 12 th the confederates counterattacked on both sides of the salient. general john gordon's division moved forward across the harrison and mc coull farms to eventually recapture the east face of the salient.

    the east face of the salient is stop # 6 on the spotsylvania auto tour.

    east face of the mule shoe salient general john gordon CSA
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    wilderness battlefield exhibit shelter

    by doug48 Updated Jul 12, 2011

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    the wilderness battlefield exhibit shelter is an important stop on the wilderness battlefield tour. on display at the shelter there are maps and information of the battle of the wilderness. the battle of the wilderness was fought between may 5 th and may 7 th 1864 between union general grant's army of the potomac and general lee's army of northern virginia. on may 4 th the union V corps under the command of general gouveneur warren and the union VI corps under general john sedgwick crossed the rapidan river at germania ford followed by general ambrose burnside's IX corps. the union II corps under the command of general winfield hancock crossed the rapidan at ely's ford and advanced toward spotsylvania courthouse. confederate general james longstreet was positioned at gordonsville, general a. p. hill at orange courthouse, general richard ewell at morton's ford, and general j. e. b. stuart at spotsylvania courthouse. a day later the bloody battle of the wilderness began.
    the wilderness battlefiled exhbit shelter is stop # 2 on the wilderness battlefield auto tour.

    wilderness battlefield exhibit shelter
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    catherine furnace

    by doug48 Updated Jul 12, 2011

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    pictured is the ruins of catherine furnace. catherine furnace was built in 1837. after ten years of iron production the furnace closed. on the ontset of the civil war catherine furnace was reopened and was a confederate munitions foundry. on may 2 nd 1863 general thomas jackson's 30,000 man army marched past this still functioning foundry in his suprise attack on union general hooker's army. in 1864 catherine furnace was destroyed by the forces of union general george a. custer.
    catherine furnace is stop # 6 on the chancellorsville auto tour.

    catherine furnace union general george a. custer
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    spotsylvania county museum

    by doug48 Updated Jul 12, 2011

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    the spotsylvania county museum and research library is located in the old berea church. the old berea church was built in 1856 in the virginia gothic revival style. during the battle of spotsylvania courthouse the berea church served as a confederate hospital. the museum has exhibits on the history of spotsylvania county and is home to the francis l. n. waller research library. for those interested in history and architecture the spotsylvania county museum is worth a stop when in spotsylvania courthouse. the museum is open from 10:00 to 5:00, admission is free.

    spotsylvania county museum
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    confederate cemetery

    by doug48 Updated Jul 12, 2011

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    the spotsylvania confederate cemetery is located on courthouse road near the spotsylvania courthouse. this is the final resting place of confederate soldiers who lost their lives in the battle of spotsylvania courthouse.

    confederate cemetery confederate memorial
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    spotsylvania courthouse

    by doug48 Written Jul 12, 2011

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    the original spotsylvania courthouse was built in 1840. during the battle of spotsylvania in 1864 the courthouse was severely damaged and major repairs were made in 1870. the current spotsylvania courthouse was built on the site of the old courthouse in 1900. the doric columns of the new courthouse were salvaged from the demolition of the old courthouse. between may 13 th and 16 th 1864 the confederate line shifted south along brock road and included the spotsylvania courthouse. on may 17 th the final union attack on the confederate defenses were led by union generals hancock and burnside against the forces of confederate generals early and ewell. on may 21 st union general ulysses s. grant disengaged from the battle and moved south towards the north anna river. this movement led to the battles of north anna and cold harbor near richmond. later grant would by pass richmond to the east and again meet lee in the 10 month seige of petersburg. (see my peterburg page for tips relating to the seige of petersburg). the battle of spotsylvania courthouse led to over 12,000 union casualities and 10,000 confederate casualities.

    spotsylvania courthouse spotsylvania courthouse 1864.
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    fredericksburg road

    by doug48 Updated Jul 12, 2011

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    after the bloody battles of the mule shoe salient on may 12 th the fighting shifted east to the fredericksburg road. the fredericksburg road, today called courthouse road (VA 208), and later massaponax church road became avenues of union advance. the fredericksburg road became the life line of the union army. all wounded union soldiers going north to hospitals followed this route and union supplies and reinforcements going south used this road. see picture two for a look at this site in 1864.
    fredericksburg road is stop # 8 on the spotsylvania battlefield auto tour.

    fredericksburg road fredericksburg 1864
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