The Fredericksburg National Cemetery is located on Willis Hill which is part of historic Marye’s Heights in Fredericksburg.
Approximately 20,000 soldiers died in this region during the Civil War, their remains scattered throughout the countryside in shallow, often unmarked, graves. In 1865 Congress established Fredericksburg National Cemetery as a final resting place for Union soldiers who died on battlefields. Confederate soldiers were buried in cemeteries located at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania Court House.
Work on Fredericksburg National Cemetery commenced in 1866 and was completed in 1869. Veterans erected two major monuments here in the late 19th century, and the remains of 300 veterans of later wars were interred before 1945, when the cemetery closed to new burials. Of the 15,300 men buried here, the identities of fewer than 3,000 are known.
Rounded granite headstones mark the graves of identified Union soldiers. The graves of unknown soldiers are marked by a small square stone bearing two numbers. The number identifies the plot, the bottom number indicates the number of soldiers buried in the plot.
This old stone basin is said to have been used by the Indians during hunting festivals as a punch bowl. Found by Major Francis Thornton (1682-1758) on his plantation, it was inscribed by Thornton in 1720.
The Old Stone Warehouse is located on the corner of Sophia and William streets in Old Town Fredericksburg, Virginia. The warehouse circa 1813 was built by businessman and patriot Thomas Goodwin. Continue reading Old Stone Warehouse→
During a period of his youth, John Paul lived at 501 Caroline in Fredericksburg, Virginia with his brother, William. John Paul Jones (July 6, 1747 — July 18, 1792) is buried at Annapolis and his brother William is buried in the St. George’s Cemetery in Fredericksburg.
The two photos below show a 1928 and 2011 view of the house where John Paul Jones lived with his brother, William. When the first photo was taken it was the C&G Grocery Store and Caroline Street was called Main Street. The home is a private residence today.
The plaque below is located on the right corner of the home. See the photos above.
At 28 John Paul was forced to flee to Virginia to escape charges of murdering a mutinous crew member and changed his name to avoid being found. No one really knows why John Paul selected “Jones” for his last name. However, it is interesting to note that there is a John Jones headstone dated 1752 within thirty feet of his brother William’s gave in the St. George’s Cemetery in Fredericksburg. Maybe seeing the John Jones name on this headstone inspired him to choose “Jones” as his last name.
On one of his visits to Fredericksburg, Virginia George Washington planted thirteen Horse Chestnut Trees to represent the Thirteen Colonies during the Revolutionary War. This last living tree was located on Fauquier Street a block away from the home of his mother.
Chatham Manor is one of the most historic homes in America. Chatham was built between 1768 and 1771 by William Fitzhugh and is located on the Rappahannock River in Stafford County Virginia. Continue reading Chatham→
The Forlorn Hope “On December 11, 1862, from the north side of the Rappahannock River in Stafford County, the 7th Michigan Infantry led an amphibious assault against the City of Fredericksburg’s tenacious Confederate sharpshooters, gave the Union arm a foothold on the opposite bank, and most importantly, allowed union engineers to complete the vital pontoon bridges needed to carry the rest of the Army of the Potomac safely across the water. The Battle of Fredericksburg was fought two days later.
In the aftermath of the battle, the defeated Union army set up winter quarters at Falmouth. Three companies of the 7th Michigan quartered inside the Union Church, a Falmouth landmark since its construction around 1819. Private Edward Wise, of Calhoun County, Michigan, etched his name on one of the church walls: “7 M Edward Wise Co I.”
In the spring of 1863, when the Army of the Potomac marched toward another major battle at Chancellorsville, Company B of the 7th Michigan remained at the Union Church and on picket duty in Falmouth along the river. A secret “submarine telegraph” was discovered at the Conway house below. Concealed under the river the device was used to pass messages about troop movements and other military information to the Confederates in Fredericksburg.
The Union Church also served as a Union hospital at various times during the war.
The structure, abandoned in 1935, suffered severely from a major storm in 1950.” As the result of the damage in 1950, the church was demolished except for the front section. Although the church is just a facade today, the heavy pound bell remained in the belfry until recently (December 15, 2011).
For more information Church visit: The Union Church Preservation Project