Tag Archives: Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park

“Flat” Wilderness?

I’m always grateful for an opportunity to see a battlefield I know well with new eyes. Adam H. Petty’s book The Battle of the Wilderness in Myth and Memory: Reconsidering Virginia’s Most Notorious Civil War Battlefield (LSU Press, 2019), which … Continue reading

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ECW Weekender: Chancellorsville and ChickChatt

This weekend marks the anniversary of the 1863 battle of Chancellorsville. Folks who visited the battlefield last summer and over the winter discovered that the Chancellorsville Visitor Center (CVC) was closed—not because of COVID but because the plumbing was out. … Continue reading

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What We’ve Learned: Primary Sources and Accessibility

What have we learned since the Sesquicentennial? My answer is best divided into personal revelations and broader implications, but they tie together. For me, I’ve learned just about everything. Not EVERYTHING, of course, but basically everything that I know now … Continue reading

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Deer Discovery Atop Marye’s Heights

Every so often, I am reminded in the most delightful of ways that the battlefields we love are not just historic sites but habitats. The other day, my 3.5-year-old son Maxwell and I were walking along the top of Marye’s … Continue reading

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“I’ll Take the Chances”

Arguably one the most iconic Civil War battlefield monuments is the dramatic sculpture depicting 2nd South Carolina Sgt. Richard Kirkland bravely aiding thirsty wounded soldiers on the frozen slopes in front of Brompton Manor on December 14, 1862, after the … Continue reading

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When a Monument Gets Its History Wrong

The U.S. House of Representatives voted yesterday to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee from Antietam National Battlefield (see here for details). The statue, erected in 2003 on private property along Route 34 heading into Sharpsburg, was later acquired … Continue reading

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Some December Scenes from Spotsy

The thermometer tried to stay above forty as morning edged toward noon, but winter temperatures had settled onto the Spotsylvania battlefield and proved harder to budge than the Confederate army. I was out for my morning exercise, which normally consists … Continue reading

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“Those who say they would like to visit a battlefield seldom know what they are talking about…” A Letter from Private Erskine M. Church

This Memorial Day will be celebrated in many different ways than years past. The typical gatherings at monuments and cemeteries have given way to virtual remembrances of America’s fallen. Be it on Facebook, YouTube, or countless other streaming services, Americans … Continue reading

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Site of Stonewall Jackson’s Death Gets New Name

A subtle but important change is underway at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park (FSNMP): the site where Stonewall Jackson died is getting renamed. The building formerly known as the Stonewall Jackson Shrine will henceforth be officially referred to as … Continue reading

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From Spotsylvania’s Eastern Front

155 years ago this evening, Ulysses S. Grant began his withdrawal from Spotsylvania Court House, swinging once more around Lee’s right flank, moving south. To recap the anniversary of the two-week battle, I want to share a project I did … Continue reading

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