Fredericksburg Features

Columns and stories of life from the Fredericksburg area.

RSS feed of this blog

History Calendar

Please enter information at Select “History” category. You may also email (subject: History Calendar), or fax  540/373-8455. Deadline: noon Thursday preceding Tuesday publication. 540/374-5461.


 Historic Port Royal’s Independence Day Celebration.  10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday, July 4. Features reading of the Declaration of Independence; St. Andrew’s Legion Pipes and Drums; period musicians Evergreen Shade; 18th-century dancing demonstrations by the Rappahannock Colonial Heritage Society; living-history encampment; surrey rides; period children’s games, and more. historicportroyal .com.

Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center Summer Camp.  July 18–July 20. Each day, the camp will feature a different Fredericksburg local who will help the students create art using a different medium inspired by the natural environment.  At the conclusion of the   camp,  students’ artwork will be displayed in the museum. Details: Call  540/371-3037, email or visit

“The Rappahannock: A River to Freedom,”  Civil War bus tour.  1–5 p.m. Saturday, July 21. Clark “Bud” Hall, noted Civil War historian and author, will lead this first-of-a-kind tour. Organizers have secured permission to visit rarely or never–seen spots that include a phenomenal mountaintop view of the county, Union encampment sites, a large slave-holding plantation, a celebrated  river crossing used by refugees, and places reflecting the return of former slaves as members of the United States Colored Troops. The four-hour tour highlights the 150th anniversary of U.S. Gen. John Pope’s  establishing his headquarters in Culpeper County. Pope introduced Virginians to a new federal policy that military historians call “total war.” Civilians were arrested, and dozens fled the county. Whites headed south; blacks set their sights on the northern banks of the Rappahannock River. Hall, an expert in Culpeper  history, will  juxtapose slave plantations and Union encampments along the Rappahannock with Culpeper slaves’ efforts at self-emancipation. The new African American Heritage Alliance, with Friends of Wilderness Battlefield, is sponsoring the tour, which includes light walking. Departs, returns to Germanna Community College’s Daniel Center  in Culpeper. $60,  includes snacks, water, handouts. Part of a full day of activities that include morning symposium and evening reception. Register for one or all three components. or contact Zann Nelson at 540/547-2395 or


Summer hours, Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park is operating on new hours through Labor Day: 9 a.m.–6 p.m., at Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center and the Chancellorsville Battlefield Visitor Center; 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. at the “Stonewall” Jackson Shrine; Ellwood: 11 a.m.–5 p.m. at Ellwood Manor on Orange–Spotsylvania line, off State Route 3 (open weekends and holidays only after Aug. 12); 9 a.m.–5 p.m. at Wilderness Exhibit Shelter on State Route 20 in Orange County (historian on duty daily, 10:30 a.m.–12:15 p.m., 1:15–5:15 p.m.); Spotsylvania Exhibit Shelter off Route 613 (historian on duty daily, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.); Old Salem Church off State Route 3 in Spotsylvania, 3–6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays (ends Aug. 12).

 “Thrill on the Hill.” Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center exhibit hosts look at Soap Box Derby history in Fredericksburg. Features retired race  cars and memorabilia from the derby’s mid-century “golden age” to present. Open through August. 540/371-3037 or


“Bricks and Boards in the ’Burg.”  Join the Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center and Hallowed Ground Tours on Saturdays for architectural walking tours of historic downtown. Hourlong tours depart Market Square  at 10 a.m., and highlight four centuries of history and architecture, 

the Rappahannock River,  spires and steeples of Princess Anne Street, Fredericksburg’s Town Hall, Market House and Market Square;  $4/adult, $1/child.  Discounted museum admission for  participants. Hallowed Ground Tours: 540/809-3918.


Civil War sesquicentennial lectures in Richmond. The Virginia Historical Society, Richmond National Battlefield Park and the American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar sponsor talk on war’s pivotal Seven Days Campaign around Richmond. On Wednesday, July 11, author and University of Virginia  professor Gary Gallagher presents “More Important Than Gettysburg: The Seven Days Campaign as a Turning Point.”  5:30 p.m., at Virginia Historical Society, 428 N. Boulevard, Richmond. Special Banner Lecture is free, as is parking.