Fredericksburg, VA "Fred-Vegas, The City of Lights" :)
Old Salem Church Salem Church was an important, yet often overlooked, part of The Battle of Chancellorsville. The church was used as a hospital by both sides. It was also a civilian refugee center during the Battle of Fredericksburg. My mother is buried in the church yard - within sight of Old Salem Church, where she volunteered with the National Park Service as a guide.
Spotswood Baptist Church - Where I was a member and an active part of the Singles Sunday School Department, Choir, Youth ministry and Missions Groups. It is a GREAT teaching church with leadership committed to evangelism and discipleship. Check it out if you are in the area - especially if you're single!
Fredericksburg is a history lovers delight. There is probably no other city that brings together so closely the two most significant events in American history, the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. Located at the edge of Virginia's Tidewater midway between Washington and Richmond, Fredericksburg was the haunt of many Revolutionary luminaries. Fredericksburg was the boyhood home of young George Washington, James Monroe practiced law here, and Thomas Jefferson also lived in our city. Many civil war battles were fought in or near the city.
Ferry Farm and Kenmore Mansion and The Mary Washington House Tour these Washington family sites, one a great mansion, the other a simple riverside farm rich in archaeology and the beauties of nature, provide visitors with a rich understanding of the importance of family relationships in the formation of the character of the "Father of Our Country". Also, Visit the Mary Washington House. This house was bought by George Washington in 1772 for his mother, Mary Washington, who lived in the house until her death in 1789. It was from this house that Washington left for his inauguration after having received his mother's blessing. In the garden, some of the old boxwoods Mrs. Washington planted remain, and the same sundial still marks the hours. Her tomb is located nearby on Washington Avenue. While on Washington Avenue, be sure to stop and see the monument for The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, written by Thomas Jefferson. Also stop by the Confederate National Cemetery across the street.
Woodbridge, VA (Where I grew up)
Prince William County - the county where I spent most of my life and all of my childhood - also home to the Manassas Battlefield, the site of two major Civil War Battles.
Commonwealth of Virginia
Virginia Time Travelers - students get discounts on Virginia sites and tours and earn a special certificate and T-shirt from Governor Jim Gilmore
The Birth of a Nation & The Revolutionary War in Virginia
Jamestown Settlement - the first permanent English settlement in North America was established along the James River in 1607.
Williamsburg area on-line tour
Gunston Hall - Home of George Mason, Founding Father who was instrumental in helping to draft the US Bill of Rights (based upon the Virginia Declaration of Rights)
Virginia - Mother of Presidents
Mount Vernon - Home of President George Washington (1st President from 1789 to 1797) Washington was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia and spent part of his childhood in Fredericksburg. He was commander of the troops of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War and the first President of the United States (serving two terms). He is known as the "Father of Our Country." Monticello - Home of President Thomas Jefferson (3rd President from 1801 to 1809) Jefferson was the author of the Declaration of Independence and the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, and the designer of the original portion of the Capitol. During his presidency, he oversaw the Louisiana Purchase, which doubled the size of the United States. He was also the founder of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, and was the governor of Virginia from 1779 to 1781. Montpelier - Home of President James Madison (4th President from 1809 to 1817)Madison served as a Virginia state legislator and later as secretary of state under Jefferson. He was a leader in the writing of the Constitution and is known as the "Father of the Constitution." He was President during the War of 1812 with Great Britain. Ashlawn-Highland - Home of President James Monroe (5th President from 1817 to 1825) Monroe served in the General Assembly; was twice governor of Virginia; served in Congress as a representative and a Senator; held several diplomatic posts; and served as secretary of war and secretary of state under President James Madison. He is known for the Monroe Doctrine, a geopolitical policy designed to keep European powers from further colonization in the western hemisphere, a policy he developed during his presidency. Berkeley Plantation - Home of President William Henry Harrison (9th President, President in 1841) and ancestral home of President Benjamin Harrison. (grandson of William Henry Harrison) It was the site of the first official Thanksgiving. "Taps" was composed here in 1862. William Henry Harrison won fame as an Indian fighter and was the victor in the battle of Tippecanoe in 1811. He commanded American troops in the War of 1812. He served only one month as President, dying of pnuemonia while in the White House. It is said that he became ill from exposure to the extreme cold during the long hours of his outdoor inauguration. Sherwood Forest - Home of President John Tyler (10th President from 1841 to 1845) Tyler succeeded Harrison after his untimely death in 1841. A major accomplishment during his administration was the annexation of Texas, which became a state in 1845. President Zachary Taylor (12th President from 1849 to 1850) Taylor was born in Orange County, VA in 1784, he was taken as an infant to Kentucky and raised on a plantation. He fought in various Indian wars but won fame for his victories in the Mexican War. His presidency was cut short at just 16 months when he died in office in 1850. President Thomas Woodrow Wilson (28th President from 1913 to 1921) Wilson was born in Staunton, VA and raised in Georgia and South Carolina. He served as president of Princeton University and governor of New Jersey. He was President for two terms, and during his service the United States fought in World War I.
The Civil War in Virginia
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.
The Spotsylvania Court House Battlefield is walking distance from my dad's home and is my old "stomping ground." It is the site of one of the bloodiest and costliest battles in the Civil War - The infamous Bloody Angle. "Never had they faced such a fight. There, on May 12, 1864, Federal forces assaulted Lee's heavily entrenched line near Spotsylvannia Court House. After 18 hours, the Federal assaults finally ended. Lee's line had held - but at a terrible cost to his infantry, which ended the battle severely depleted. At the Bloody Angle - Lee and his war weary troops had won again, but it was a deadly victory."
The Battle of Fredericksburg The Battle of Fredericksburg, 1862 Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan affected a smile as he read the fateful orders from Washington. Turning toward his late night visitor, McClellan spoke without revealing his bitter disappointment. "Well Burnside, I turn the command over to you." With these words, the charismatic, overcautious leader of the Union's most famous fighting force exited the military stage, yielding to a new man with a different vision of war. . . . .
Fredericksburg II Marye's Heights Virginia American Civil War May 3, 1863 -
On May 1, Gen. Robert E. Lee left Maj. Gen. Jubal A. Early's division to hold Fredericksburg, while marching with the rest of the army to meet Hooker's main offensive thrust at Chancellorsville.
2nd Battle of Fredericksburg & Salem Church: A Driving Tour
Fredericksburg National Cemetery
"Stonewall" Jackson Shrine - plantation where Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson died after sustaining injuries from "friendly fire" during the Battle of Chancellorsville. Located just south of Fredericksburg in Thornburg, VA.
Other (Relatively) Nearby Civil War Sites and Cities:
Richmond - (Petersburg, Ashland, Carmel Church, Ladysmith)