Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park
A Joint Program of the National Park Service and the Central Rappahannock Regional Library
This September, the National Park Service and the Central Rappahannock Regional Library will host a speaker series focusing on various topics related to the history of the National Park Service, which turned 100 years old on August 25.
All programs are free and begin at 7:00. They will be held at Central Rappahannock Regional Library’s Headquarters at 1201 Caroline Street.
For more than two hundred years, this Spotsylvania farm has stood as a witness to Virginia history. Originally carved from land given to colonial Governor Alexander Spotswood, Ellwood willingly hosted two armies-that of the Marquis de Lafayette during the Revolutionary War and General Robert E. Lee during the Battle of Chancellorsville in 1863. However, in 1864, during the Battle of the Wilderness, Ellwood became the headquarters for Generals Gouverneur K. Warren and Ambrose E. Burnside. General Grant took his position a few hundred yards away from the house, at a spot still called Grant's Knoll.
The 23rd Regiment was the first African American unit to fight against the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. They met on the battlefield on May 15, 1864, during the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House. Today’s living history organization, named for the 23rd, is headquartered in the Spotsylvania area and works in conjunction with the John J. Wright Educational & Cultural Center Museum.