Readers, Welcome to my blog (formerly Birds, Blooms, Books, etc). I'm entering a new decade taking on the challenge of moving from Maryland after living there 46 years and learning about my new home here in New England in the Live Free or Die state - New Hampshire. Join me as a write this new chapter of my life.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Fredericksburg - A Town Between Two Capitals

The two capitals being Washington, DC - the U.S. capital and Richmond, VA - the Confederate capital.

Over 18 months, the Union Army had four battles in and around Fredericksburg.  The area became known in history as the most contested ground in America, and the bloodiest landscape on the continent. (Source: NPS Brochure)

Joining Through My Lens

We stopped in the Visitor Center for the Fredericksburg Battleground on a Sunday afternoon, just in time to view the film and then join the walking tour of the Sunken Road.  The Park Service official was outstanding in his knowledge of the battle.  I am sorry I didn't get his name.
 It was good to walk where men opposed each other and see what they would see.  These walks are only offered on weekends because of budget cuts, I do believe.

Our walk started in front of the map so we could get a lay of the land and the positions of the Union and Confederate troops.

The sunken road was a major roadway between towns.  Confederates had the advantage of being on this side of the wall with a hillside to their backs where their artillery could shell the Union troops coming up from lower ground where the town was on the Rappahannock River.

Confederates had sharpshooters in this house but it was on the other side of the wall.

When the Park Service restored it they found bullet holes in the inside walls.  We could see them when we peered in the windows.

Below is the original wall left intact.

This mansion on the hill on the Confederate side is now the residence of the President of Mary Washington University.

We walked to the top of the hill where the artillery would have been pounding the Union troops contributing to their loss of this battle.

The Union graveyard is there now.

Its sobering to consider how many died in these battles.  At the Chancellorsville Visitor Center that we stopped in on Monday, there was a floor to ceiling wall of all the names of those who had died there at that battle, thousands of them.  It brought tears to my eyes.