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.

The committee's historians have outlined two tours that allow visitors to retrace the steps of those who fled the Confederacy. Other sites included on the tours are significant to local black history.

The Fredericksburg tour may be done on foot while the Stafford tour is more suited for driving although it encompasses several sites where it would do well to park and spend time communing with history.

The Trail to Freedom Web Site features maps, podcasts and vodcasts for the two tours and a separate page gives summaries of the sites' significance.

More to Explore

Virginia History Books on Slavery
These books may be reserved and checked out from the library. Several selections would make good reading to accompany the tour, including A Different Story, A Slave No More, and Historic Churches of Fredericksburg,

Virginia Sesquicentennial Commemoration of the American Civil War
This commission is planning numerous events as part of the anniversary celebration. Their Web site gives a schedule of events, podcasts of battlefield tours, and interviews with historians.