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City walking tour recalls Union raid


When most people link a date to the Union army and Fredericksburg, they think of Dec. 13, 1862, when the battle for which the community is famous took place.

But to get a fuller picture, they may wish to consider Nov. 9, 1862, when the town’s residents awoke to find 60 Union cavalrymen charging down their streets.  At 8 a.m. Saturday, National Park Service rangers will lead a special walking tour through those same streets, 150 years and one day later.

Eric Mink and Donald Pfanz, historians at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, will begin their free, 90-minute tour—titled “Cavalry in the Streets: Dahlgren’s Raid into Fredericksburg”—at City Dock, 207 Sophia St.

They will trace the route of troopers led by Capt. Ulric Dahlgren, who came to Fredericksburg to gauge the size of the Confederate force that held the city and size up the condition of the railroad between Fredericksburg and Aquia Landing on the Potomac River in Stafford County. Crossing the Rappahannock River at Falmouth, Dahlgren’s men swept down on Fredericksburg and engaged Confederates in a running battle through the town. 

The Southerners were sent fleeing in the spirited brawl, but later rallied and forced Dahlgren back across the river.  

 Clint Schemmer:   540/368-5029