Fredericksburg is a centrally located 49 miles south of Washington, D.C. and 58 miles north of Richmond. This quaint town offers both Historic Charm and modern shopping. Tourism is a major part of the economy, with approximately 1.5 million people visiting the Fredericksburg area annually, including the battlefields, events, museums and other historic sites.
Boardered by the Rappahannock River, Fredericksburg flourished as a regional marketplace and prosperous seaport before the American Revolution. George Washington's childhood home with the famous legend of the cherry tree, Ferry Farm, lies just across the Rappahannock in Stafford County.
Because of Fredericksburg's location between D.C., the capital of the Union and Richmond, the capital of the Confederate, it was a major objective for both sides during the Civil War. The city changed hands at least seven times and has four major battlefields in its surrounding area.
Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park is a unit of the National Park Service in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and Spotsylvania County, commemorating four major battles in the American Civil War. The military park encompasses four major Civil War battlefields: Battle of Fredericksburg, Battle of Chancellorsville, Battle of the Wilderness, and Battle of Spotsylvania Court House. It also preserves four historic buildings associated with them: Chatham Manor, Salem Church, Ellwood, and the house where Stonewall Jackson died.
Fredericksburg National Cemetery In July 1865, three months after the restoration of peace between the states, Congress authorized the establishment of a National Cemetery in Fredericksburg to honor the Federal soldiers who died on the battlefields or from disease in camp. The site chosen was on Marye's Heights, the formidable Confederate position which had proven so impregnable to repeated Federal attacks on December 13, 1862.
The cemetery contains the graves of over 15,000 United States soldiers. Most of them are Union soldiers who died in the battles and camps around Fredericksburg. About 100 soldiers are 20th century veterans including at least two spouses. Over 80% of the soldiers are unknown. A record of the identified soldiers is kept at the Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor.–www.Virginia.org
The University of Mary Washington(UMW) was founded in 1908 and located in downtown Fredericksburg with most of its campus located on Marye's Heights, a steep hill which, played an important role in the 1862 Battle of Fredericksburg.
UMW ranked #15 in the 2012 Best Colleges by US News for Top Public Schools Regional Universities (South)
UMW’s Mission Statement:
The University of Mary Washington is one of Virginia’s outstanding public liberal arts universities, providing a superior education that inspires and enables our students to make positive changes in the world.
The University is a place where faculty, students, and staff share in the creation and exploration of knowledge through freedom of inquiry, personal responsibility, and service. UMW regards the provision of high-quality instruction as its most important function. The University offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs focusing on both disciplinary and interdisciplinary studies. These academic programs afford students opportunities to integrate and apply their knowledge within broad educational experiences, to develop their professional interests, and to practice the habits of mind necessary for life-long learning. Through a professionally engaged faculty, the University supports ongoing research appropriate to the development of student abilities and faculty interests. It especially encourages the participation of undergraduates in research.