News Release

Special Programs Commemorate the 161st Anniversary of the Battle of Fredericksburg

A female park ranger speaks to a group of 50 people on a lawn overlooking a river across from Frederickburg.

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News Release Date: November 17, 2023

Contact: Beth Parnicza, 540-623-5861

FREDERICKSBURG, VA — On Saturday, December 9, 2023, Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park will hold a series of special programs to commemorate the anniversary of the Battle of Fredericksburg. These programs will provide an overview of the Battle of Fredericksburg, explore the impact of the battle within the larger context of the war, and examine what these events mean to us today.

All programs are free and open to the public. In case of inclement weather, programs may be altered or cancelled. Park grounds are open sunrise to sunset.

Program Schedule 
Saturday, December 9, 2023

9 am – 5 pm
Chatham Conversations
Drop-in program at Chatham.
Throughout the day on December 9, 2023, stop by Chatham from 9 am – 5 pm to talk with park rangers about the role Chatham played in the Battle of Fredericksburg, the construction of pontoon bridges nearby, the transformation of Chatham into a field hospital, and more!

10 am – 11 am
"It appeared as though fate was against us": The Fight at Prospect Hill
Meet near the parking lot at Prospect Hill (Fredericksburg Battlefield Tour Stop #6); 1 mile walk.
This program examines the fighting that took place on the southern end of the battlefield as both sides sought to control Prospect Hill, a key piece of ground overlooking the railroad. US attacks and Confederate counterattacks left hundreds dead and thousands more wounded in the see-saw fighting that played a vital role in determining the victor of the Battle of Fredericksburg.

11:30 am – 11:45 am
Pontoon Crossing at Chatham
Meet inside Chatham; stationary program.
Join park rangers for a fifteen-minute talk about the pontoon crossing that took place at Chatham during the Battle of Fredericksburg. Learn about the obstacles that US soldiers faced when they reached Fredericksburg.

2 pm – 3 pm
“Seizing the heights”: The Sunken Road and the Fredericksburg National Cemetery
Meet at the battle painting at the Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center; 0.5 mile walk, includes slight elevation.
On December 13, 1862, wave after wave of US soldiers attacked the Confederate position behind the stone wall at the foot of Marye’s Heights. This disaster for the United States occurred just weeks before the planned release of the Emancipation Proclamation. These heights later became the Fredericksburg National Cemetery. Join us for this short walk exploring how we reckon with the difficult parts of our past.

3:30 pm – 3:45 pm
Chatham Field Hospital
Meet inside Chatham; stationary program.
Join park rangers for a fifteen-minute talk about Chatham's usage as a field hospital during the Battle of Fredericksburg. This program will explore the work of medical staff in caring for hundreds of wounded soldiers in the battle's aftermath.

Other December Programming

Civic Lab: Remembering the Civil War
In partnership with the Central Rappahannock Regional Library, we will be hosting two Civic Labs to discuss how the war has impacted us, both individually and as a nation. On Tuesday, December 12, we will be at the Salem Church Branch from 11 am – 12 noon. On Thursday, December 14, we will be at the Fredericksburg Branch from 4 pm – 5 pm. Drop by for a chat while we are there!

Last updated: November 17, 2023

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Mailing Address:

120 Chatham Ln
Fredericksburg, VA 22405


540 693-3200

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