George Washington at Chatham
Although he is usually associated with Mount Vernon on the Potomac River, George Washington spent much of his youth at Ferry Farm on the Rappahannock River, several hundred yards downstream from Chatham. He often returned to Fredericksburg to visit his family and friends. On many occasions George Washington visited Chatham to see his good friend William Fitzhugh. On April 29, 1786, Washington recorded in his diary that he had "set out from the Bowling Green a little after sunrise. Breakfasted at General Spotswood's. Dined at my Sister Lewis' in Fredericksburg and spent the evening at Mr. Fitzhugh's of Chatham." During Washington's visits, he enjoyed the lavish hospitality and entertainment for which Fitzhugh was well noted.
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Did You Know?
Marye's Heights is what Civil War soldiers called the high ground immediately west of Fredericksburg. It would be more accurate to call it Willis Heights. The heights consisted of two hills where the Willis and Marye families lived prior to the war. Willis Hill is the larger of the two hills.