Roads Through the Battlefield

Roads Through the Battlefield (HM4NK)

Location: Fredericksburg, VA 22407
Country: United States of America

N 38° 17.534', W 77° 34.306'

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Battle of Chancellorsville - 1863

Today, much like it was in the nineteenth century, Spotsylvania County contains very few east-west roads. The few that exist, such as Route 3 before you, are heavily used and follow the same routes as their antebellum predecessors.

The first improved east-west roadway in Spotsylvania was the Orange Turnpick, which opened in 1813. Constructed by the Swift Run Gap Turnpike Company, it followed an earlier path that stretched the 45 miles from Fredericksburg to Orange Court House. Complete with toll gates, the turnpike boasted a crushed stone surface. By 1860, the road had fallen into disrepair and the right-of-way was sold to the Fredericksburg and Valley Plank Road Company.

The Fredericksburg and Valley Plank Road Company sought to improve travel between Fredericksburg and Orange by using wooden planks and timbers as a road surface. Viewed as something of a novelty, the new road utilized segments of the turnpike, but in areas where the topography was hilly, a parallel route was constructed along better grades.

These two east-west routes figured prominently in Spotsylvania County's battles. Even today, the turnpike (Route 3) and the plank road (Routes 3, 610, and 621) remain as vital transportation links.
HM NumberHM4NK
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, October 17th, 2014 at 7:34am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 275087 N 4241368
Decimal Degrees38.29223333, -77.57176667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 17.534', W 77° 34.306'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 17' 32.04" N, 77° 34' 18.36" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)540
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 5851-5863 Plank Rd, Fredericksburg VA 22407, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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