Soldiers, civilians, slaves--lives transformed by what took place here. Nearly 100,000 men fell killed or wounded in four battles spanning eighteen months. The constant presence or passage of armies for nearly two years mutilated the landscape, bringing agriculture to a virtual halt. In Fredericksburg, the Union army bombarded and then looted, leaving nearly 100 buildings destroyed and the fortunes of many families ruined. But amidst the destruction, slaves sought and found freedom. The sum total: the Civil War transformed this community socially, physically, and politically. Here, everything happened either "before the war" or "after the war," and no one needs to ask which war you're talking about.
Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County Battlefields Memorial National Military Park encompasses four major Civil War battlefields: Fredericksburg (December 1862), Chancellorsville (May 1863), and Wilderness and Spotsylvania Court House (May 1864). The park also manages four major historic structures, two of them (Chatham and Jackson Shrine) open year-round. Ellwood and Salem Church are open seasonally.
The Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center is located at the base of historic Marye's Heights on the Fredericksburg battlefield. It is open weekdays 9:00 - 5:00 and on weekends 9:00 - 6:00. Film strip, artifacts, museum, book store, self-guided walking and driving tours. U.S. Park Service personnel on duty.