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Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park

Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park - BEST Placess to Picnic

120 Chatham Lane
Fredericksburg, Virginia 22405

Phone
Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center
(540) 373-6122

Explore the Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park

The Bloodiest Landscape in North America

Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Wilderness, and Spotsylvania - more than 85,000 men wounded; 15,000 killed. No place more vividly reflects the Civil War�s tragic cost, in all its forms. These places reveal the trials of a community and nation at war. The park is closed on Thanksgiving Christmas and New Year's Day. Call (540) 654-5532 for information on park closure during inclement weather.

Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park is the second largest military park on the planet. It preserves and interprets the history of four major battlefields scattered over the city of Fredericksburg and four counties.

It takes about two full days to visit the entire park, but there are many options. Some people decide to concentrate on only one battlefield. Some decide to spend a little time on each battlefield. There are driving tours through each battlefield, numerous walking trails of various lengths, two visitor centers and four historic buildings.

It is best to begin your visit at a park visitor center, one on the Fredericksburg Battlefield and one on the Chancellorsville Battlefield. Historians can orient you to the park and battlefields, provide you with walking and driving tour brochures, inform you of park activities and answer questions. 

The visitor centers also have exhibits and films on the battles as well as large bookstores where additional literature on the park and battles can be purchased. Be aware that there are no visitor centers at Wilderness and Spotsylvania and historians are only present during the summer season and on weekends in the spring and early fall.

There are also four historic buildings that are open - Chatham Manor, Salem Church, "Stonewall" Jackson Shrine and Ellwood Manor. Of these, only Chatham is open daily. The others are open less often depending on the season of the year, day of the week.

Each of the battlefields and historic buildings has its own section of this website that provides information on visiting the site, information on the history, brochures for the walking trails and links to additional information.

This massive website also includes information on special events, a section for teachers and for students writing reports, a section on doing research that contains information how to research your Civil War ancestor and links to dozens of archives, libraries and websites and brochures for touring other Civil War battlefields such as Brandy Station, Kelly's Ford and Mine Run.

Click here to connect to the park webpage on the hours that the buildings are open and the daily events and click here to learn about special events.

The Fredericksburg City Visitor Website has information about visiting the city of Fredericksburg including restaurants, motels, and events. The Spotsylvania County Visitor Center has similar information for Spotsylvania County as does the website for Stafford County.

Park

The military park encompasses four major Civil War battlefields: Battle of Fredericksburg, Battle of Chancellorsville, Battle of the Wilderness, and Battle of Spotsylvania Court House. It also preserves four historic buildings associated with them: Chatham Manor, Salem Church, Ellwood, and the house where Stonewall Jackson died. 

The ruins of the Chancellor family mansion are included. There are two visitor centers staffed by Park Service rangers, one in Fredericksburg near the foot of Marye's Heights, and another at the Chancellorsville site. Exhibit shelters are staffed on a seasonal basis at Wilderness and Spotsylvania Court House. Chatham Manor in Stafford County is open daily. All sites are free.

The park was established as Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County Battlefields Memorial National Military Park on February 14, 1927, and transferred from the War Department August 10, 1933. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966. The park includes 8374 acres, of which 7369 acres are owned by the Federal government.

Places to Picnic

  • Chancellorsville Battlefield Visitor Center
  • Chatham
  • Lee Drive
  • Sauders Field
  • Spotsylvania Battlefield Exhibit Shelter
  • Stonewall Jackson Shrine

Did You Know?
Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park is the second largest military park in the world. Chickamauga & Chattanooga is the largest and oldest.

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