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Fredericksburg, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Bound for Freedom

Trail to Freedom

 

— Fredericksburg: Timeless. —

 
Bound for Freedom Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, May 2, 2020
1. Bound for Freedom Marker
Inscription.  
“Fredericksburg is a captured town, the enemy took possession of the Stafford Hills … and their guns have frowned down upon us ever since… The Federal army has abolished slavery wherever it has gone.”
— Jane Beale,
a Fredericksburg Citizen

“I could not begin to express my new born hopes for I felt already like I was certain of my freedom now.”
— John Washington, a Fredericksburg slave

The Civil War spilled into the Rappahannock valley in the spring of 1862. While the main armies campaigned on the Virginia Peninsula, east of Richmond, a Federal force occupied Falmouth, across the river in Stafford County. The arrival of the Union army on April 18th caused an immediate stir. While most white residents reacted with dismay, many slaves saw opportunity in the resulting chaos. A slave named John Washington made his way to this area. At Ficklen’s Mill (the ruins to your left front) he observed soldiers wearing Union blue on the opposite shore of the Rappahannock River.

Washington approached the riverbank and the Federal pickets rowed over in a boat.
Bound for Freedom Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, May 2, 2020
2. Bound for Freedom Marker
Click or scan to see
this page online
Washington took the fateful step of crossing the river with them to freedom. As the war continued, thousands of other African-Americans left their homes, seeking their own freedom through the Union lines.

[Captions:]
This sketch shows the area where John Washington crossed the river. The town of Falmouth is on the right. Flicklen’s Mill, on the Fredericksburg shore, is on the left.

John Washington passed the Woolen Mill (shown by a blue arrow) as he walked out of town toward Falmouth. At Ficklen’s Mill (circled in red), he headed toward the river and freedom.

This photo of John Washington was taken about ten years after the war.

 
Erected 2010 by Fredericksburg Economic Development and Tourism Office.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansWar, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Virginia, Fredericksburg: Timeless. series list. A significant historical month for this entry is April 1964.
 
Location. 38° 19.079′ N, 77° 28.196′ W. Marker is in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Marker is on Caroline Street just north of Forbes Street, on the right when traveling west. Marker is along the Fredericksburg Heritage Trail. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2616 Caroline St, Fredericksburg VA 22401, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within
Bound for Freedom Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., November 24, 2015
3. Bound for Freedom Marker
The marker was moved from its original location to this spot, along the Fredericksburg Heritage Trail.
walking distance of this marker. A History of Floods (within shouting distance of this marker); Sgt. Dustin Perrott (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Sgt. Nicholas Mason (about 300 feet away); 2nd Lt. Jeff Graham (about 300 feet away); Staff Sgt. Robert Stanley (about 300 feet away); Sgt. 1st Class Michael Lynn Russell (about 300 feet away); Col. Paul M. Kelly (about 400 feet away); Lance Cpl. Caleb Powers (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fredericksburg.
 
More about this marker. The picture in the upper right of the marker is captioned, "This sketch shows the area where John Washington crossed the river. The town of Falmouth is on the right. Flicklen’s Mill, on the Fredericksburg shore, is on the left."

The lower picture in the upper right of the marker shows the path John Washington took to freedom. "John Washington passed the Woolen Mil (shown by a blue arrow) as he walked out of town toward Falmouth. At Ficklen’s Mill (circled in red), he headed toward the river and freedom."
 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. The Freedom Began Here Marker, across the Rappahannock River at the Historic Port of Falmouth Park.
 
Bound for Freedom Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., June 28, 2010
4. Bound for Freedom Marker
The marker caption identifies that, "This photo of John Washington was taken about ten years after the war."
Bound for Freedom Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., June 28, 2010
5. Bound for Freedom Marker
The remains of Bridgewater/Ficklen's Mill can be seen in the foreground.
Ficklen’s Mill image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., June 28, 2010
6. Ficklen’s Mill
Note a sign erected long ago marks the site as Bridgewater Mills. Bridgewater Mills was owned by the Ficklen family, so is referred to by either of the two names.
Bound for Freedom Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., June 28, 2010
7. Bound for Freedom Marker
This is a previous version of the marker. The information is identical with slightly different formatting.
Bound for Freedom Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., June 28, 2010
8. Bound for Freedom Marker
The marker was originally located lower in the park, at coordinates: 38.31874N, 77.470175W
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 3, 2020. It was originally submitted on June 29, 2010, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,187 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 3, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.   3. submitted on November 26, 2015, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.   4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on June 29, 2010, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
 
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Picture of the river bank where slaves crossed on the Trail to Freedom. • Can you help?

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Apr. 15, 2021