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

    Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania

    National Military Park Virginia

There are park alerts in effect.
hide Alerts »
  • Chatham Exit Road Closed 9/2-9/5

    The Chatham exit road will be closed from September 2-5, 2014 as part of the project to restore the historic viewshed from Chatham Manor. The road will be closed at all times. Please use the Chatham entrance road as a two-way road. More »

Virtual Tour, Banks Ford

Interpretive sign at Banks Ford
Banks Ford on the Rappahannock is a few miles upstream from Fredericksburg. Today there is no sign identifying the ford, but an interpretive sign is located there. To reach the area, take River Road west from Fredericksburg. After leaving the shopping area known as Central Park, the road descends to the river. The ford is located at the bottom of the hill.
 
Banks Ford on the Rappahannock River
In the third week of January, 1863, General Ambrose Burnside attempted to lead his army across the river at this point, but turned back because of heavy rains that turned the roads into mud. Throughout the winter and spring the Confederates watched this area as a possible crossing point.
 
Banks Ford on the Rappahannock River
At the beginning of the Chancellorsville Campaign, Wilcox's Alabama Brigade guarded the crossing site. However, on May 1, they moved closer to Fredericksburg leaving the ford unguarded. On the same day, two Union brigades of the Fifth Corps, were sent west from Chancellorsville along the River Road to seize the crossing site. The leading elements reached a point almost within sight of the ford when they were recalled by General Hooker.
 
Banks Ford on the Rappahannock River
On May 4, the Confederates attempted to surround and capture the Union Sixth Corps. However, the Federals soldiers managed to reach the river and cross at Scott's Ford, just downstream from Banks Ford
 

Did You Know?

Todd's Tavern

The Battle of Todd's Tavern was not the largest cavalry battle of the war, but may have been the most important. Confederate horsemen delayed the advance of the Union just long enough so that the Confederate army could win the race to Spotsylvania which extended the war for eleven months.