Exhibit renovations at Chancellorsville Battlefield Visitor Center
Exhibits and the film are currently unavailable at the Chancellorsville Battlefield Visitor Center while we prepare the building for new exhibits. The information desk, bookstore, and restrooms are available.
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.
An often overlooked aspect of the Civil War is its impact on the civilian populace of North and South. Fredericksburg, Virginia, for example, was occupied on three separate occasions by Union forces. These "invasions" of the town had a distinct psychological impact on the townspeople. Through the Civil War era writings of Fredericksburg residents it is possible for us to experience some of their anxiety and fear toward the Union army and also the elation of Confederate success.
Perhaps the best civilian account of the Civil War years in Fredericksburg was written by Jane Howison Beale. Beale was born in Fredericksburg in 1815, one of twelve children. Her parents, Samuel and Helen Moore Howison, owned an 18th century home on Charles Street and were prominent members of the community.
Beale married William Churchill Beale in 1834, at the age of nineteen. In 1846, William purchased a beautiful brick home on Lewis street for he and his wife. After his death in 1850, Jane was able to pay off the home and then established a girl's school on the premises. She remained in the home until her death in 1882.
Luckily for Civil War historians and buffs alike, The Journal of Jane Howison Beale has been published by the Historic Fredericksburg Foundation. I am indebted to the Foundation for allowing me to provide the following excerpts on this site. As the introduction to the edited diary states, "Mrs. Beale's journal stands as one of the best accounts of life in a small Southern town during the 1850's and early 1860's."
Excerpt from Journal of Jane Beale
Did You Know?
The park maintains a summer internship program. The program allows college students to work behind the information desk, as well as give tours of the battlefields and historic structures.