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Civil War Round Table of Fredericksburg

Civil War Round Table of Fredericksburg

A section of the map referenced in the article showing the buildings destroyed in the heart of downtown Fredericksburg.  



Ruined buildings at the junction of Hanover and George Streets, in Sandy Bottom. This damage likely came from Confederate artillery fire.



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The purpose of the park is to preserve, maintain, protect and provide access to the cultural and natural resources of the Civil War battlefields of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Wilderness and Spotsylvania Court House and associated sites and to interpret and commemorate them in the larger context of the Civil War and American History for the benefit and education of visitors and the general public.

Our community is very fortunate to have such an extraordinary resource employed with dedicated men and women.  We are proud of our relationship with these professionals.  This webpage is their page. The information, stories and photos come from John Hennessy - Chief Historian/Chief of Interpretation.  Please enjoy!

 Destruction in Fredericksburg, December 1862

     While virtually every building in town suffered some sort of damage from artillery shells, the tax rolls give us a hint of number of taxable buildings actually lost. In 1865, the town collected property taxes after a three-year hiatus and the tax collector noted 51 buildings “burned,” 17 “shelled and pulled down,” and 16 “pulled down and burned.”  That’s a total of 83.  (The tax man noted another 17 buildings were listed as “damaged by shells,” but apparently not sufficiently so to warrant demolition.)

     The town had about 830 taxable structures at the war’s outset, so we have a nice round number of about 10% of the town’s buildings destroyed—the vast majority in the fighting of December 1862.  I have gone ahead and mapped the buildings listed as lost, and their locations also give us hints as to when they may have been lost.  Of the 83 buildings lost, at least 10 were in locations unlikely to have been touched by the Union bombardment of December 11. Instead, those buildings likely succumbed during the fighting on December 13—and in fact, most probably perished at the hands of Confederate artillery fire. Indeed, almost certainly, the buildings in the famous image of destruction at the junction of Hanover and George Streets suffered their fate at the hands of Confederate artillery.

     The looting that followed the Union bombardment of December 11, 1862, added a level of woe to the town that in many ways caused deeper scars than artillery fire. But that’s a topic for another day…..

 

 

Civil War Round Table of Fredericksburg
Civil War Round Table of Fredericksburg
Civil War Round Table of Fredericksburg
Civil War Round Table of Fredericksburg

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