DescriptionIn and around Fredericksburg, the park covers about 8,400 acres and includes four great battlefields of the Civil War: Chancellorsville, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania Court House and the Wilderness.
Due to its strategic location halfway between Richmond and Washington, D.C., Fredericksburg and the surrounding area were of prime military importance to both sides. The intense and continuous fighting resulted in the estimated loss of 65,000 Union soldiers and 40,000 Confederate fighters.
Walking trails from the Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center on US 1 lead to the Sunken Road, Marye's Heights, Fire in the Streets, Lee Hill and the Fredericksburg National Cemetery. The Kirkland Monument honors a 19-year-old Confederate sergeant who risked his life to give water to the wounded and dying of the Union Army. Old Salem Church, which served as a refuge for civilians fleeing the city during the Battle of Fredericksburg, is within the park. The church, also the site of a battle during the Chancellorsville campaign, later was used by the Confederates to tend to the wounded of both sides. Also on the grounds is Ellwood, a house standing in the middle of the Wilderness Battlefield that once served as a hospital for Confederates.
All of the battlefields are in a 17-mile radius of Fredericksburg. Exhibits, paintings, interpretive trails, historic buildings, narrative markers and maps identify Union and Confederate lines and relate the stories of the battles. Roads lead to the battlefields, earthworks and other points of historic interest. Guided walking tours led by park historians are available seasonally; phone ahead to confirm schedule.
The park is open daily dawn-dusk. Visitor center hours vary; phone ahead. Closed Jan. 1, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Park admission is free. Phone (540) 693-3200.
Things to SeeChatham Manor
This 8,400-acre area comprises four great Civil War battlegrounds: Chancellorsville, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania Court House and the Wilderness.