Fredericksburg is among the most famous battles of the Civil War. On December 13, 1862, General Ambrose E. Burnside launched a series of brave but futile attacks against General Robert E. Lee’s position on the heights behind town. Lee’s men, posted in a strong position behind a stone wall at the base of Marye’s Heights, successfully repulsed repeated Union attacks.
Learn about the Battle of Fredericksburg through virtual programs
Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center
Begin your visit to the park at the Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center. This visitor center introduces the extensive action that took place in the Fredericksburg area during the Civil War. Located on Sunken Road, a focal point during the Battle of Fredericksburg, the center serves as a starting point for a tour of the Fredericksburg-Spotsylvania National Military Park.
The 20-minute film inside the building describes the events surrounding the area’s four major battles, and museum exhibits lend insight into the experience of soldiers and civilians during this tumultuous period in American history. Take a guided walk down the Sunken Road, scene of the heaviest fighting, and then return to the visitor center by way of the national cemetery, where 15,300 Union soldiers now lie buried. After leaving the visitor center, drive across the river to Chatham Manor, an 18th-century plantation that served as a Union headquarters and hospital during the war, and then take a spin down Lee Drive, the 5-mile-long park tour road that follows the Confederate line.