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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Fredericksburg, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Courthouse

 
 
The Courthouse Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., September 15, 2007
1. The Courthouse Marker
Inscription. With the arrival of the Union army in the Spring of 1862, Fredericksburg-area slaves by the hundreds fled to freedom. To house the refugees, the Union army transformed the basement of the city courthouse (in front of you) into a temporary barracks. A Union officer remembered that the former slaves “seemed as happy as though they owned the town.”

After the war, the “Freedman’s Court” held session every Friday afternoon in the city courthouse, adjudicating civil cases brought by African-American citizens.

The Federals used the courthouse cupola as a signal station and observation post. From here Union General Darius Couch watched the futile attacks against Marye’s Heights on December 13. Exclaimed Couch, “Oh great God! see how our men, our poor fellows, are falling!”

“The slaves are flocking to the Federal army by hundreds. As many as 80 have gone off at one time from the river plantations, and it is said there is scarcely a slaveholder in Fredericksburg who has not lost one or more of his negroes.”
                                                            - Gen. Irvin McDowell, USA, May 5, 1862


Sidebar in lower right corner: Union General O. O. Howard also watched the battle from the courthouse cupola. After the war he would head
Four Markers near the Courthouse image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., September 15, 2007
2. Four Markers near the Courthouse
the Freedman’s Bureau, whose local headquarters were in the Farmer’s Bank building (to your right-rear). Howard University in Washington D.C., was named in his honor.

 
Erected by Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, National Park Service.
 
Location. 38° 18.137′ N, 77° 27.594′ W. Marker is in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Marker is at the intersection of Princess Anne Street and George Street on Princess Anne Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 815 Princess Anne St, Fredericksburg VA 22401, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A Vast Hospital ( here, next to this marker); The “Demon of Destruction” ( here, next to this marker); War Comes to Fredericksburg ( here, next to this marker); Gen. Stonewall Jackson ( a few steps from this marker); Clara Barton ( within shouting distance of this marker); Corporation Court House ( within shouting distance of this marker); Site of Barton House ( within shouting distance of this marker); The Market Square
The Courthouse Cupola image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., September 15, 2007
3. The Courthouse Cupola
( about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Second Town Hall / Market House ( about 300 feet away); Fredericksburg United Methodist Church ( about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fredericksburg.
 
Categories. Abolition & Underground RRAfrican AmericansNotable BuildingsWar, US Civil
 
The Front of the Courthouse image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., September 15, 2007
4. The Front of the Courthouse
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 18, 2007, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,533 times since then and 35 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 18, 2007, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.
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