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History

Fredericksburg developed as the frontier of colonial Virginia. The Virginia General Assembly established a fort on the Rappahannock in 1676, just below the present-day city. In 1720, the colonial assembly formed a new county named Spotsylvania and established Fredericksburg in 1728 as a port for the county. Fredericksburg was incorporated as a town, with its own court, council, and mayor, in 1781, and received its charter as an independent city in 1879.
During the American Civil War, Fredericksburg's location was important because it was midway between Washington and Richmond. During the battle of Fredericksburg in 1862, the town was attacked by Union forces. A second battle was fought in and around the town in 1863. The battles of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania Court House were fought nearby in May 1864.

The Battle of Fredericksburg,
The Battle of Fredericksburg, fought in and around Fredericksburg, Virginia, from December 11 to December 15, 1862, between General Robert E. Lee's Confederate Army of Northern Virginia and the Union Army of the Potomac, commanded by Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside, is remembered as one of the most one-sided battles of the American Civil War. The Union Army suffered terrible casualties in futile frontal assaults on December 13 against entrenched Confederate defenders on the heights behind the city, bringing to an early end their campaign against the Confederate capital of Richmond.

The Battle of Chancellorsville
The Battle of Chancellorsville was a major battle of the American Civil War, fought near the village of Spotsylvania Courthouse, Virginia, from April 30 to May 6, 1863. Called Gen. Robert E. Lee's "perfect battle"[2] because of his risky but successful division of his army in the presence of a much larger enemy force, the battle pitted Union Army Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker's Army of the Potomac against an army half its size, Lee's Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. Lee's audacity and Hooker's timid performance in combat combined to result in a significant Union defeat. The Confederate victory was tempered by the mortal wounding of Lt. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson to friendly fire, a loss that Lee likened to "losing my right arm." The Chancellorsville campaign began with the crossing of the Rappahannock River by the Union army on the morning of April 27, 1863. Heavy fighting began on May 1 and did not end until the Union forces retreated across the river on the night of May 5 to
May 6.

The Battle of Spotsylvania Court House
The Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, sometimes referred to as the Battle of Spotsylvania, was the second battle in Lieut. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's 1864 Overland Campaign of the American Civil War. It was fought in the Rapidan-Rappahannock river area of central Virginia, a region where more than 100,000 men on both sides fell between 1862 and 1864. The battle was fought from May 8 to May 21, 1864, along a trench line some four miles long, with the Army of Northern Virginia under Gen. Robert E. Lee making its second attempt to halt the spring offensive of the Union Army of the Potomac under the command of Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and Maj. Gen. George G. Meade. Taking place less than a week after the bloody, inconclusive Battle of the Wilderness, it pitted 52,000 Confederate soldiers against a Union army numbering 100,000.


The Battle of the Wilderness
The Battle of the Wilderness, fought from May 5 to May 7, 1864, was the first battle of Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's 1864 Virginia Overland Campaign against General Robert E. Lee and the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. Both armies suffered heavy casualties, a harbinger of a bloody war of attrition against Lee's army and, eventually, the Confederate capital, Richmond, Virginia. The battle was tactically inconclusive, as Grant disengaged and continued his offensive.

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