Chancellorsville Visitor Center Closed Beginning Dec. 23
The Chancellorsville Battlefield Visitor Center will be closed for renovation work until March 15, when we expect to open on a limited basis. The information desk, restrooms, and bookstore will open then, but exhibits will be closed as we install new.
Exhibit renovations at Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center
Exhibits are currently unavailable at the Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center, as we remove old exhibits and prepare the building for new exhibits in June 2014. The information desk, bookstore, and restrooms are available.
Battle of Cedar Mountain
The text below is from a park brochure on the Battle of Cedar Mountain (August 9, 1862). It contains a summary of the battle, directions to the battlefield from the Fredericksburg area and a driving tour route.
A new threat to the Confederacy lurked in Northern Virginia in the summer of 1862. Two previous threat had already been successfully opposed by the Southerners. Confederate forces under Major General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson had thwarted Federal designs in the Shenandoah Valley earlier in the year. [Read Jackson's Official Report]The emergence of General Robert E. Lee insured the safety of Richmond by driving Union troops away from the Confederate capital in the Seven Days battles. A desperate Lincoln Administration next turned to the bombastic Major General John Pope. Pope forged an army out of the several Union commands embarrassed by Jackson in the Valley and christened his new fighting force the Army of Virginia. [Read Pope's lengthy Official Report on the entire 2nd Manassas Campaign including Cedar Mountain]
DIRECTIONS TO THE BATTLEFIELD
Follow the directions and the map carefully to tour the Cedar Mountain battlefield. The entire battlefield is privately owned; please respect the rights of the landowners. To reach the battlefield from Fredericksburg or Chancellorsville, proceed west on Rt. 3 to Culpeper. Take Rt. 15 south 5.5 miles. Turn right on Rt. 691 . As you turn onto Rt. 691 the wartime Major House appears just across Rt. 15 from you. The house and the grounds served as Jackson's rear headquarters and Confederate hospital during the battle. Proceed to Rt. 657 and turn right. At the time of the battle Rt. 657 was the main road to Culpeper. Late on the afternoon of August 9, 1862, Stonewall Jackson's army marched in the same direction you are heading. When Rt. 657 turn sharply to the right, pull off to the side of the road and stop.
Stop 1 - The Gate/Jackson on the Field. In 1862 the Culpeper road did not turn here but continued in a straight line. Part of the old road trace is still visible in the fields. Rt. 657 to the southeast served as the farm lane to the Crittenden House. a gate across the Crittenden lane became a landmark for Confederates.
Stop 2 - The Confederate line. The Southern line extended the length of the Crittenden lane, crossing Rt. 15 here and continuing up the shoulder of Cedar Mountain. (Note Rt. 15 supplanted the Old Culpeper Road. Rt. 15 did not exist at the time of the battle.) The Crittenden house stood near the present site of a farm silo to the right of the lane. Confederate artillery fired from the mountain and from a knoll to the left of the lane known as the Cedars. Christopher C. Augur's Union attack started from a point to your left and traversed a cornfield to strike the Confederate line near this point.
Stop 3- Crawford's Attack. facing the pond (which is modern), Samuel W. Crawford's Union attack struck Jackson's line near the Gate 0.3 mile in front of you. When Crawford fell back to his original line, behind you, four companies of the 1st Pennsylvania Cavalry dashed across this area in one of the rare mounted cavalry charges of the war against infantry.
Stop 4 - Mitchell Station Road. The Union line ran along the Mitchell Station Road, present-day Rt. 649. Union artillery along the road shelled the Confederates across the fields but took terrible fire from Confederates on Cedar Mountain. The old road to Culpeper (which you last saw at the Gate) continue northward as Rt. 692.
Stop 5 - Augur's Attack. The panorama to your right reveals much of the Confederate line. Augur's attack started from this area. Cedar Run cuts along the base of Cedar Mountain and crosses Rt. 649 another 0.7 mile beyond your location. This geographic feature lent its name to the battle in many of the soldiers' accounts.
Stop 6 - Last Confederate Line. Confederates drove Nathaniel P. Banks' Union troops from the Mitchell Station Road (Rt. 649) past this church, which sits on its wartime foundation. After dark Jackson established a line on the ridge 0.35 mile beyond the church to the northeast. Confederate artillery under Captain Willie Pegram shelled the retreating Federals only to be hotly engaged by Northern artillerists, who made the ridge line exceptionally hazardous for the Confederates.
For information on Friends of Cedar Mountain Battlefield, click here.
The battlefields of Brandy Station, Kelly's Ford, Mine Run and Rappahannock Station are also in this area. Written guides for these and other nearby battlefields are available in the visitor centers at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville.
Did You Know?
The first infantry shots of the bloodiest campaign in American history were fired in Saunders Field on May 5, 1864.