National Park Service

"The Sacking of Fredericksburg"

War So Terrible: A Popular History of the Battle of Fredericksburg, by Donald C.

Excerpt from War So Terrible: A Popular History of the Battle of Fredericksburg, by Donald C. Pfanz, (pp. 44-46)

Donald C. Pfanz is staff historian with Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. He is also the author of Abraham Lincoln at City Point and Richard S. Ewell: A Soldier’s Life.  This chapter is reprinted on CRRL's history site with his permission.

“The Sacking of Fredericksburg”

By the time the fighting ended on Dec. 11, Fredericksburg was desolate.  Fighting in the streets combined with a bombardment by more than 180 cannons had left the venerable old town shattered and ruins.  Those citizens who had not fled Fredericksburg had seen their homes riddled with bullets, shot and shell.

Ansel Adams: A Biography

By Mary Street Alinder

Go to catalog

In his own best-selling 1985 autobiography, Adams presented a life almost as neatly cropped and printed as his pictures, omitting nearly all of his personal relationships and many major emotional details. Here, Mary Street Alinder - who worked with Adams on that memoir and was his assistant in his later years - draws a much more revealing portrait. Her biography covers in depth his difficult childhood in San Francisco and the profound impact of the Yosemite Valley on the boy who would become its consummate artist, exploring the mixed consequences of that lifelong relationship.

Reserve this title

New Trail to Freedom Project Marks Local Black History Sites

Between April and September 1862, an estimated 10,000 slaves fled the South through our region. As part of the local Civil War Sesquicentennial commemorations, the Trail to Freedom project was designed to give the public a better understanding of the experiences of those whom the war impacted greatly but are often only a footnote in history books.

When the Whipporwill Calls

By Candice Ransom

Go to catalog

A Blue Ridge Mountain family is displaced to the flatlands by the creation of the Shenandoah National Park.

Reserve this title

Grandpa's Mountain

By Carolyn Reeder

Go to catalog

During the Depression, eleven-year-old Carrie makes her annual summer visit to her relatives in the Blue Ridge Mountains and watches her determined grandfather fight against the government's attempt to take his farm land for a new national park.

Reserve this title

War So Terrible: Remembering the Battle of Fredericksburg

One hundred and forty-seven years ago, lines of blue advanced on a hillside near the outskirts of Fredericksburg. Those heights were manned by gray-uniformed soldiers, powerfully well-armed and rather surprised that the Union commander should send wave after wave of troops into their maelstrom of cannon and rifle fire. What followed was a slaughter about which Confederate General Robert E. Lee said, "It is well that war is so terrible...we should grow too fond of it."

Battling for Manassas: The Fifty-Year Preservation Struggle at Manassas National Battlefield Park

By Joan M. Zenzen

Go to catalog
This is the story of how one American Civil War site has garnered national attention and taught Americans lessons about the future of historic preservation. It covers the earliest moves to create the Manassas Battlefield Park up to the struggle to prevent the Disney site nearby.
(From the publisher's description)
Reserve this title

Popes Creek Plantation: Birthplace of George Washington

By Charles E. Hatch, Jr.

Go to catalog

A lengthy, illustrated guide to George Washington's birthplace, also known as Pope's Creek Plantation or Wakefield.

Reserve this title

Stafford County May Get New Museum at Chatham

According to an article that appeared in the Free Lance-Star on 10/10/2009, Stafford County is working with the National Park Service to place a museum on the whole of the county's history at Chatham, a National Park Service property.

August Is National Parks Month

Camping, fishing, hiking, history, grand vistas, and horseback riding--there are so many possibilities in our national parks.