Fredericksburg, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
War Comes to Fredericksburg
“The General punishes most severely any [soldier] caught in the most trivial act. He says [we must] show the Southern People we will act with true Yankee Hospitality even to the worst treasonable communities.”
—Charles Scriber, 24th New York
May 23, 1862
War first came to Fredericksburg in the spring of 1862 when more than 30,000 Union troops under General Irvin McDowell occupied the area.
Though most of the Union camps lined the ridges east of the river, one brigade occupied the city proper. The Federals’ presence annoyed but little disrupted the city’s 5,000 inhabitants. Few residents fled, and, thanks to strict enforcement of orders in the Union army, the city suffered little damage. The highlight of the occupation came on May 23, when President Abraham Lincoln visited General Marsena Patrick at the Farmer’s Bank building, across the intersection from you.
During his visit to the bank, Lincoln delivered a few words from the steps of the building. By winter the bank would be looted, a victim of the Union depredations prior to the Battle of Fredericksburg.
Caption of picture on the right: General Marsena Patrick, whose headquarters were in the basement of the bank building. The gruff Patrick was a stern disciplinarian; his stringent orders helped spare Fredericksburg from damage during the first Union occupation.
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #16 Abraham Lincoln series list. A significant historical month for this entry is May 1848.
Location. This marker has been replaced by another marker nearby. It was located near 38° 18.137′ N, 77° 27.594′ W. Marker was in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Marker was at the intersection of Princess Anne Street and George Street, on the left when traveling south on Princess Anne Street. Touch for map. Marker was in this post office area: Fredericksburg VA 22401, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this location. A different marker also named War Comes to Fredericksburg (here, next to this marker); A Sacked and Gutted Town (here, next to this marker); Gen. Stonewall Jackson (a few steps from this marker); A Vast Hospital (a few steps from this marker); The Court HouseIn Memory of Clara Barton (within shouting distance of this marker); 1910 (within shouting distance of this marker); Great Exodus From Bondage (within shouting distance of this marker); 1833 (within shouting distance of this marker); Corporation Court House (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fredericksburg.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. This marker has been replaced by the linked marker.
Credits. This page was last revised on February 2, 2023. It was originally submitted on September 19, 2007, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,666 times since then and 35 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on September 19, 2007, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. 3. submitted on December 14, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.