• Fredericksburg Battlefield: Sunken Road, Stone Wall and Innis House sunrise

    Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania

    National Military Park Virginia

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    The Chatham exit road will be closed to all traffic (pedestrians and vehicles) at all hours from September 2-19, 2014 as part of the project to restore the historic vista at Chatham Manor. More »

Lesson Plans



This program will explain the Battle of Fredericksburg. Students will visit the Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center and view the museum and orientation program. They will also take a short walking tour along the Sunken Road area of the battlefield. Fifth grade and seventh grade have been targeted because of their related curricular objectives. These include identifying major periods and events in the history of the United States, understanding of geography as it relates to the Civil War, and participating effectively in group activities.

Standards of Learning: Social Studies 5.1, 7.1, 7.9


The City of Fredericksburg and the surrounding countryside provided the setting for four major battles of the Civil War. The first of these was the Battle of Fredericksburg, December 13, 1862. It was to become Confederate General Robert E. Lee's most one-sided victory of the war. Today, the National Park Service preserves key portions of the battlefield.

  1. List three reasons why the battle of Fredericksburg took place at Fredericksburg, Virginia.
  2. Identify two sites on the battlefield and explain what happened at those places.
  3. Name the opposing commanding generals and recognize their photographs.
  4. Define preservation and explain why it is important to preserve the battlefield.
  5. Encourage sense of pride and ownership of this national military park.



The purpose of a visit to the Chancellorsville Battlefield is to give students an understanding of the Battle of Chancellorsville and those who played important roles in its outcome. A discussion of the significance of the battle, terrain, plus the wounding and subsequent death of Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson are focus points of the visit.

When the students arrive at the Chancellorsville Visitor Center they will see an orientation program on the Battle of Chancellorsville, view the exhibits in the museum, and may participate in a thirty minute walking tour.

Students studying American History and Virginia History will find this program of interest. It will help students gain a better understanding of the most tragic event in United States history-the Civil War.

Standards of Learning: Social Studies 5.1, 7.1


The Battle of Chancellorsville in May 1863, is considered by historians as the greatest victory of the Civil War for General Robert E. Lee and the Confederacy. Outnumbered and nearly surrounded, Lee aggressively moved his troops to the Chancellorsville crossroads to meet the threat posed by General Joseph Hooker and the Union army. The Confederate army successfully turned back this latest northern advance, but unfortunately the battle cost Lee his most important and dependable general, Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson.


  1. List two reasons why the battle of Chancellorsville is called Robert E. Lee's greatest victory of the Civil War.
  2. Identify the opposing commanding generals of each army.
  3. Describe Chancellorsville and identify three reasons why its location was important in the battle.
  4. Explain the circumstances behind General Stonewall Jackson's death.
  5. Identify two landmarks on the battlefield today that remind us of the events that happened here long ago.



This program will explain the significance of Chatham, particularly its role during the Civil War. Students visiting the historic mansion will be greeted by a historian at the front door who will orient the group to the house and grounds. Students will then view exhibits in various rooms on the first floor. Approximately 45 minutes should be allowed for walking from the parking lot to the house, taking the tour, and returning to the bus. If time permits, students with their teachers may like to stroll out on the front terraces to view Fredericksburg and walk back through the gardens.

Standards of Learning: Social Studies 5.1, 7.1


The colonial brick mansion called Chatham was built on high ground overlooking the city of Fredericksburg in the late 18th century by one of the wealthiest landowners in Virginia. During the Civil War it was known as the Lacy House after its wartime owner, J. Horace Lacy. Chatham served as headquarters for Union army generals, a strategic artillery and communication center for military operations, and a field hospital for wounded Union soldiers following the battle of Fredericksburg. Today, the National Park Service maintains the house and grounds. Staff members Elsa Martinez and Janice Frye created a lesson plan for Chatham in the Teaching in Historic Places series.


  1. Explain the relationship of Chatham to the Fredericksburg Battlefield.
  2. List three different uses of the house during the Civil War.
  3. Identify other eras of history associated with the house, including the colonial and 20th century time periods.
  4. Identify changes to the structure since it was built.
  5. Name three significant people associated with Chatham during its history.

Did You Know?

Confederate artillerists on Marye's Heights at Fredericksburg

30 acres of Civil War battlefield land is destroyed every day. Civil War Preservation Trust preserves 133.2 acres of the Bristoe Station battlefield.