The Civil War in the Rappahannock Region

The Civil War in the Rappahannock Region

The Rappahannock region is situated halfway between the capital city of the United States and what was the capital of the Confederacy. Its navigable river, rail line, and roads increased its value as a military target, and thousands of lives were lost in battles that took place on the streets of Fredericksburg and in Spotsylvania's Wilderness. Both local people and out-of-towners were swept up in the war's fury, and the marks of battle can still be seen on our landscapes and buildings.
The library's collection has many books and articles on the Civil War, including official records and memoirs. If you would like guidance with your research, please consult the Virginiana Room staff or an Adult Services librarian.

Online Resources

Virtual Virginiana
Here you will find online versions of rare print books that are often kept under lock and key. You will find here books on enslaved persons - some written by local people - a book on Reconstruction, and a memoir from one of Jackson's foot cavalry.

Black Freedom Struggle in the United States

Find historical newspaper articles, diaries, and more marked by the opposition African Americans have faced on the road to freedom.

A Female Soldier in the Civil War

Emma Edmonds documented her time serving with a Michigan regiment and witnessing The Battle of Fredericksburg.

American Civil War Blogs & Book Lists

Local History - Civil War

Helpful Research Websites

Websites, both local and state, specializing in topics on the American Civil War.

Central Virginia Battlefields Trust
A non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of endangered, historic battlefields in Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, the Wilderness and Spotsylvania Court House areas of Virginia.

Civil Discourse: A Blog of the Long Civil War Era
Frequently updated, this site is a place where local historians share their interests in many aspects of the War. Includes biographical notes, a series on "secrets" of Fredericksburg's National Cemetery,  and much more.

Civil War Memory
Here are the reflections of a Civil War historian & high school history teacher with many links to interesting articles.

Civil War Soldiers & Sailors System
A computerized database containing very basic facts about servicemen who served on both sides during the Civil War. The initial focus of the CWSS is the Names Index Project, a project to enter names and other basic information from 6.3 million soldier records in the National Archives.

Civil War Trust
Dedicated to saving America's remaining Civil War battlefields. Civil War Trust members have saved more than 29,000 acres of hallowed ground in 20 states.

Friends of the Wilderness Battlefield
FWB hosts public events year-round and links to news articles concerning the Wilderness Battlefield and efforts towards its preservation.

 Mercy Street
A blog that includes many entries on Civil War medicine in Virginia, as practiced by the Union at Mansion House in Alexandria. Affiliated with PBS' series "Mercy Street" and the National Museum of Civil War Medicine.

NPS' John Hennessy: Fredericksburg Remembered
"The challenges and adventures of interpreting the history of Fredericksburg, Stafford, and Spotsylvania to a sometimes ambivalent public." Many posts concern African American and Civil War history.

Rappahannock Valley Civil War Round Table
Founded as an organization open to all people interested in learning about the Civil War and in preserving the hallowed ground where the soldiers fought. This very active organization has an online newsletter and monthly dinner meetings (reservations required) featuring speakers on Civil War history.

To the Sound of the Guns: Civil War Artillery, Battlefields, and Historical Markers
A popular and frequently updated blog for Civil War enthusiasts.

The Virginia Museum of History & Culture & the VA Historical Society
The VMHC is owned and operated by the Virginia Historical Society - a private, non-profit organization. It is the oldest cultural organization in Virginia, and one of the most distinguished history organizations in the nation.

New in the Catalog

The Virginiana Room

The Virginiana Room at Fredericksburg Branch is the place to go if you want to learn more about ancestors - especially if they lived in our part of Virginia.
People from around the country come to our library to search for their roots.
Stop by and see what we can do for you.
If you can't stop by the Virginiana Room, you can still ask us for assistance.
You might start with our obituary indexes for local newspapers, dating to 1788. Indexed obits can be found in our microfilmed copies of Fredericksburg newspapers. Look in our "family files" to see what other researchers may have found.
If your ancestor fought for Virginia units in the Revolutionary War or Civil War, this is the place to look. Early Fredericksburg city directories, lot history files and insurance maps might tell you when and where your local ancestors lived in more recent times.
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