Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Wilderness, and Spotsylvania—this is the bloodiest landscape in North America. No place more vividly reflects the Civil War's tragic cost in all its forms. A city bombarded, bloodied, and looted. Farms large and small ruined. Refugees by the thousands forced into the countryside. More than 85,000 men wounded; 15,000 killed—most now in graves unknown.
The fading scars of battle, the home places of bygone families, and the granite tributes to those who fought still mark these lands. These places reveal the trials of a community and nation at war—a virtuous tragedy that freed four million Americans and reunited a nation. To visit the battlefields, begin your tour at either the Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center or the Chancellorsville Battlefield Visitor Center.
For two days Union and Confederate soldiers grappled with one another in the woods 15 miles west of Fredericksburg. James Horace Lacy's house, "Ellwood," was a headquarters during the battle.
Robert E. Lee forged a victory against great odds here but suffered the irreparable loss of his brilliant subordinate "Stonewall" Jackson.
Two weeks of gruesome combat culminated in hand-to-hand fighting at this turn in the Confederate line, known as the Bloody Angle.
After his mortal wounding at Chancellorsville, "Stonewall" Jackson was taken to a Caroline County plantation, where he died eight days later. His final words were, "Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees."
Protected by a stone wall, Confederate defenders turned back wave after wave of brave but futile Union assaults at the Sunken Road.