Remembering the Battle of Fredericksburg

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2020: Fredericksburg 158th

This year's anniversary is different. Our priority is keeping our visitors and staff safe. Following health guidance, we will not be hosting any of our Ranger-led programs that we operated in the past. Instead, we will be releasing a series of virtual video programs, activities, and articles to remember the Battle of Fredericksburg.

An image of a sunset overlooking a town across a river with the text "158th Anniversary, Battle of Fredericksburg" and "December 11-13, 2020, #Fredericksburg158th"

The anniversary of the Battle of Fredericksburg is a time to reflect on what happened during this battle. We remember the lives lost and affected by the events that took place. We think about the circumstances that influenced the course of the battle, and how the battle influenced the course of the war.


Virtual Programs

When video programs premiere they will be linked to this website, as well as be live premiere's on the park's Facebook and YouTube pages!

Remembering the Battle of Fredericksburg

Premiere: Wednesday, December 9, 2020, 11:00 am
Join Ranger Greg Mertz as he reflects on what the anniversary of the Battle of Fredericksburg means to the park and how we can understand the battle within the larger context of American history.

Lost Voices: Slavery, Freedom, and the Battle of Fredericksburg

Premiere: Friday, December 11, 2020, 11:00 am
From around the battlefield, Ranger Becca Toy, explores the stories of the enslaved and free people whose lives were changed forever when war came to Fredericksburg.

Joseph Miller: A Confederate Remembers the Battle

Premiere: Friday, December 11, 2020, 2:00 pm
Ranger Pete Maugle is here to discuss the writings of Joseph Miller and explore what we can learn about Miller's life, thoughts, and experiences in the Confederate army.

Civilian Experience of the Battle of Fredericksburg

Premiere: Saturday, December 12, 2020, 11:00 am
Atop Stafford Heights near Chatham Manor, Ranger Ryan Quint overlooks the city of Fredericksburg and discusses how civilians, caught between two armies, dealt with the battle unfolding around their homes.

Meade's Breakthrough

Premiere: Saturday, December 12, 2020, 2:00 pm
In many ways the story of the Battle of Fredericksburg is as much about opportunities lost as it is victories won. Join Ranger John Launius to discuss the event that many historians believe to be the closest the Union army came to winning the Battle of Fredericksburg.

In the Footsteps of the Irish Brigade

Premiere: Sunday: December 13, 2020, 11:00 am
Join Ranger Frank O'Reilly for the annual walk that follows the route of the Irish Brigade. This program was recorded during last year's anniversary, and is being published to allow all our visitors to participate in 2020.

Follow #Fredericksburg158th on our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!


Explore the Battlefield

Know Before You Go

Visiting during the anniversary of the battle can be a special, meaningful occasion. Even though the visitor centers are closed and we are not scheduling Ranger programs, you can still explore the battlefield

  • Park grounds are open sunrise to sunset. Learn more about park operating hours and seasons.
  • December weather can be unpredictable. Soldiers here during the battle dealt with snow, rain, freezing nights, and unexpectedly muggy mornings. Travel with layers and always check the conditions before your visit.
  • Get yourself a map! The numbers on the park map are a suggested driving route.
  • The Fredericksburg Battlefield Park Store is open for in-person or remote transactions.

The Social Dispatch with image of National Cemetery
Above the fold front page of The Social Dispatch


For Kids

The Social Dispatch

Soldiers in military camps had to come up with ways to keep their spirits up. A popular solution was the publication of camp newspapers. The Social Dispatch (1.25MB pdf) is our take on a camp newspaper, complete with a variety of articles, activities, games, and craft ideas!

Check out the The Social Dispatch: Anniversary Issue to learn more about the Battle of Fredericksburg.

Be a Junior Ranger

No kid is ever too old, or too young, to join the Junior Ranger family. The Fredericksburg Battlefield Junior Ranger Book (3.2MB pdf) guides you along a tour of the Sunken Road Walking Trail, with stops at the Stone Wall, Innis House, Kirkland Monument, Marye's Heights, and the Fredericksburg National Cemetery. Learn more about our Junior Ranger program.

Virtual Classroom

Communities at War is an interactive curriculum that explores how the Civil War and the Battle of Fredericksburg changed the lives of the people who lived and fought here.

Whether you are a teacher looking to break away from the textbook, a parent managing your students remote learning, or independent enthusiast, Communities at War is a great way to begin exploring the meaning of the Battle of Fredericksburg.

Articles: Before and After the Battle

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    Readings: Dive Deeper

    If you are looking to learn more about the Battle of Fredericksburg, or just want some historical reading to help with those cold winter days indoors, we've got a list for you! This list is currently being updated; more coming soon.

    Sunken Road Landscape. Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, National Park Service, Cultural Landscape Inventory, 2011. (3.8MB pdf)

    Beagan, C. and Foulds, H. Cultural Landscape Report For Chatham. Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, National Park Service, Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation, 2019. (45MB pdf)

    Zenzen, Joan M. At the Crossroads of Preservation and Development: A History of Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. Administrative History, 2011. (99MB pdf)
    Gallagher, Gary, ed. The Fredericksburg Campaign: Decision on the Rappahannock. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press,1995.

    Gottfried, Bradley M. The Maps of Fredericksburg: An Atlas of the Fredericksburg Campaign, Including all Cavalry Operations, September 18, 1862-January 22, 1863. El Dorado Hills: Savas Beatie, 2018.

    Mackowski, Chris and Kristopher D. White. Simply Murder: the Battle of Fredericksburg, December 13, 1862. Emerging Civil War Series. El Dorado Hills: Savas Beatie, 2013.

    O'Reilly, Francis. "Attack at the Stone Wall," Blue and Gray Magazine, XXV, no. 4, 2008.

    O'Reilly, Francis. "Prospect Hill and the Slaughter Pen," Blue and Gray Magazine, XXV, no. 5, 2009.

    O'Reilly, Francis. The Fredericksburg Campaign: Winter War on the Rappahannock. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2006.

    Rable, George. Fredericksburg! Fredericksburg! Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002.
    United States. War Records Office, et al. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Series I, Volume XXL, Chapter XXXIII, "Operations in Northern Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. November 15, 1862 - January 25, 1863." 1888.

    Fredericksburg. Voices of the Civil War Series, Alexandria, VA: Time-Life Books, 1997.

    Brainerd, Wesley; Ed Malles, ed. Bridge Building in Wartime: Colonel Wesley Brainerd's Memoir of the 50th New York Volunteer Engineers. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1997.


    Passport Stamp: Fredericksburg 158th

    Green, textured passport stamp, with text, Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, Battle of Fredericksburg, 158th Anniversary, December 11-13, 2020
    Thank you for taking part in the virtual Battle of Frdericksburg Anniversary! Download the Battle of Fredericksburg 158th Anniversary passport stamp for your National Parks Passport.

    Last updated: June 14, 2021

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    Fredericksburg , VA 22405


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