Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania Courthouse (VA) (Images of America)
Publish Date: 2002-12-03
Author: John F. Cummings III
Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County both witnessed the ravages of America's defining drama. This is the story of a town forced into exodus by the harsh hand of war and of the strength that helped its residents find rebirth from the ashes of destruction. This shared experience would bring people like John Henry Myer and Joseph Walker into a united community, despite diverse backgrounds and racial differences. Fredericksburg had enjoyed prosperity as a colonial-era tobacco port, but economic and agricultural changes diminished this importance. By the 1850s, Fredericksburg had been eclipsed by Richmond to the south and Alexandria to the north. Shortly before the Civil War, a small industrial boom revitalized the town only to be cast asunder by the events of 1861-1865. Ten miles south is Spotsylvania Court House, the county seat. Here too, fate would deal a blow as warring armies raged over the pastoral setting, leaving destruction in their wake.