Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Wilderness, and Spotsylvania—this is the bloodiest landscape in North America. No place more vividly reflects the Civil War’s tragic cost, in all its forms. A city bombarded, bloodied, and looted. Farms large and small ruined. Refugees by the thousands forced to the countryside. More than 85,000 men wounded; 15,000 killed—most now in graves unknown.
The fading scars of battle, the homeplaces of bygone families, and the granite tributes to those who fought still mark these lands. These places reveal the trials of a community and nation at war—a roiling cataclysm, a virtuous tragedy that freed four million Americans and reunited a nation.
Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park commemorates four major actions of the U.S. Civil War: the Battle of Fredericksburg, December 11-13, 1862; the Chancellorsville Campaign (encompassing the battles of Chancellorsville, Second Fredericksburg, and Salem Church), April 27-May 6, 1863; the Battle of the Wilderness, May 5-6, 1864; and the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, May 8-21, 1864.
An absorbing historical experience awaits those who tour the park at their own pace. A complete driving tour of the battlefields consists of a sixteen stops encompassing approximately 70 miles. Let your time and interest determine how much you see.
The Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center, located on Lafayette Boulevard, is the place to begin a tour of the Fredericksburg battlefield. The building houses a museum on two floors and a 22 minute slide film explaining the battle.
Jackson Shrine - Historians inform visitors about the last days of General "Stonewall" Jackson and the
significance of his death in this building. Located on Highway 606 approximately 5 miles east of I-95 and about 15 miles south of Fredericksburg. (804) 633-6076.
Spotsylvania Battlefield Exhibit Shelter - Exhibits on the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House. Historians are on the battlefield on weekends. The exhibit shelter is located on Grant Drive approximately 12 miles southwest of Fredericksburg.
Chatham Manor - The exhibits focus on Chatham's Civil War history and the 15 families that owned Chatham. Located at 120 Chatham Lane. Across the Rappahannock River from downtown Fredericksburg. (540) 654-5121.
Chancellorsville Visitor Center - Exhibits and slide program on the battle. 35 minute guided walking tours of the wounding of Stonewall Jackson are offered on weekends. (540) 786-2880.
Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center - Exhibits about the Battle of Fredericksburg and a 22 minute film on the battle. 35 minute guided walking tours along the Sunken Road are offered on weekends. The Visitor Center is located at the intersection of Lafayatte Boulevard and Sunken Road in Fredericksburg. (540) 373-6122.
Wilderness Battlefield Exhibit Shelter - Exhibits about the Battle of the Wilderness. Historians are at the Wilderness on most weekends. Located on Route 20 approximately 17 miles west of Fredericksburg.
Fredericksburg is located 50 miles south of Washington and 50 miles north of Richmond. The park contains numerous areas on both sides of I-95 in the Fredericksburg area.