Civil War - U.S.

02/09/2011 - 1:10pm
Library of Congress Picture of Fugitive Slaves Crossing the Rappahannock

Civil War Sesquicentennial programs at the library kick off with a lecture series, "The Civil War Comes to Stafford," to be presented at the England Run branch. Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park Historians will bring the Civil War to our backyard.

Join us for the first lecture in this series:

The Crossing: Slaves, Stafford, and the Great 1862 Exodus to Freedom, lecture by John Hennessy

England Run, Thursday, February 10, 7-8pm

In the spring and summer of 1862, Fredericksburg and Stafford witnessed one of the greatest flights to freedom in American history. As many as 10,000 slaves fled homes, farms, and plantations in nearby counties, bound for the Union army along the Rappahannock River. For individual slaves, the exodus represented an immense risk and an uncertain journey into freedom. For white residents, the exodus meant rapid and profound social change--the end of a labor system more than 200 years old. And for the army and federal government, the flood of freedom seekers--months before the  Emancipation Proclamation--raised a profound and simple question for: what now? This program will look at the great 1862 exodus across the Rappahannock from the human level, men and women forcing change on a community, state, and nation unprepared.

Find out more about Civil War Sesquicentennial events and resources.

08/16/2015 - 8:14pm

Lake Anna State Park is a favorite local destination for campers, boaters, and families who just want to spend a summer day at the lakeside beach. For most of us, the way to the lake runs down Lawyers Road. These days, there’s not much to take in with the view from this one-lane road, which passes through as quiet a stretch of Spotsylvania countryside as remains in the 21st century. But in centuries past, the western part of the county was the scene for tribal wars, slave labor, religious awakenings, whiskey barrel politics, gold mining, and Civil War armies on the march.

01/11/2010 - 10:14am

Serious Civil War historians should find Robert Krick's book to be a very useful reference as weather is always a factor in battle. The former park service historian has compiled official information along with anecdotal references taken from soldiers' books, diaries, and letters as well as newspapers. Includes sunrise and sunset data from a period almanac.

02/10/2015 - 2:26pm

Follow Marlborough Point Road down to the eastern tip of Stafford County, and you will pass by lots of new housing mushrooming into the forests and fields that were once favored by both the Native Americans and colonial settlers.  This section of the county is home to not just centuries of local history but millennia.

01/11/2010 - 9:25am

Stafford County was the southernmost part of the Union occupation of Virginia for much of the Civil War and as such it drew all sorts of characters to its farmlands and creeksides. General Daniel Sickles--described by his contemporaries and historians as a scoundrel, murderer, rapscallion, rogue, and adulterer--took charge of the 2nd Brigade of Hooker's Division, Army of the Potomac. He enjoyed scouting the enemy by hot air balloon and held extravagant parties for his officers while in Stafford.

11/05/2009 - 11:02am

Civil War - Fredericksburg: Then & Now was released October 28. This new DVD is a cooperative production of the Civil War Round Table of Fredericksburg and the Central Virginia Battlefields Trust.

Come to the Headquarters Library theater onThursday, November 5, 7-9 pm, to view parts of the DVD, and meet with the producers, director, and narrator who will be available for questions.

11/02/2009 - 1:15pm
From the Central Rappahannock Regional Library

Battle of the Ironclads: The Monitor and the Merrimack by Alden R. Carter.
This book for elementary school students examines the construction, battles, and technological and historical impact of the Civil War battleships, the Monitor and the Virginia (Merrimack).
C.S.S. Virginia: Mistress of Hampton Roads by John V. Quarstein.
A lengthy account of the naval battle. Available to read in the Virginiana Room.
Part of the Virginia Regimental Histories series.

Duel Between the First Ironclads by William C. Davis.
The author weaves fascinating personal and historical detail into his narrative.
Also available as an eBook. Click here for more information on this collection.

Duel of the Ironclads: The Monitor vs. the Virginia by Patrick O'Brien.
A short book (36 pages) that is appropriate for elementary students who are just beginning to develop a taste for history.
08/21/2015 - 8:59am

By Dr. John Coski
Director of the Library and Research at the Museum of the Confederacy


***Coski, John M. "Battle Flag: A Brief History of America's Most Controversial Symbol." North & South. vol. 4, no. 7 (September 2001): 48-61.

**Coski, John M. "The Confederate Battle Flag in American History and Culture: A Photograph Essay." Southern Cultures. vol II, no. 2 (1996)

04/02/2010 - 10:44am

(This brochure was originally printed in the fall of 2002.)

Colonial Times

Africans first arrived in the Virginia colony in 1619 as indentured servants. In the late 1600s slaves were brought into the sparsely settled Rappahannock Valley, primarily to serve as agricultural laborers.


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