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“Very interesting.”

Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Orange County
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Very interesting.”
Reviewed June 27, 2013

National Park is very interesting, visitor center has film, free guided tours & self-guided walking tours. Park rangers are very knowledgeable & helpful. If going during summer months, get there early due to heat & humidity!

Visited June 2013
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1 Thank Lv2travel95
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 5 Contributor
34 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Spotsylvania Courthouse Battlefield Is a Great Day Trip!”
Reviewed June 20, 2013

There is too much to see and do in one day, so we're taking it in sections.

We visited The Wilderness battlefield site a few weeks ago and returned to complete that battle campaign by visiting Spotsylvania Courthouse battlefield. We specifically went to walk the trail. There are about seven miles of trail that loops and intersects. We started at the exhibit shelter (http://www.nps.gov/frsp/photosmultimedia/ses.htm). There are paper trail brochures at the unmanned site. This is also where the only restrooms are located in that area of the park. The park is a "take your trash with you" which means there are no trash cans. We packed water, some trail mix and sandwiches in our backpack and kept the refuse in a plastic bag in the pack.

The shelter has the history of the battle, some trivia, and where Grant and Lee went to after Spotsylvania. There is also a large painting depicting the Union and Confederate trenches, which is an excellent orientation. As we walked the trail, we discovered it's not that well marked on where to go when coming across and intersection and we had to look around for the trail leading to the Harrison House ruins from the Bloody Angle. When we go back, we'll bring my watch with the compass attached to orient the trail map. We'll also bring additional water.

Overall, the trail was fun to walk. There are no major challenges to the trail, mostly flat land. The trail does narrow in the woods and there is an abundance of poison ivy, but that's with any trail. We just stayed on the path and didn't have an issue with poison ivy or ticks.

Walking the Bloody Angle, East Angle and up to the Landram House ruins is a must. It is sobering to walk the land where thousands fought and were killed. We left with a better appreciation of how beautiful the scenery is but also how terrible it would be to fight on that terrain. The brochure from the shelter titled The Bloody Angle was essential as we walked that section of the trail because there are points marked on the ground that only the brochure had the information about the significance of the markers.

The Jackson Shrine is 14 miles on the other side of I-95 and we're saving that for another day. Walking the Spotsylvania battlefield trail and taking time to read the placards was a full afternoon.

Visited June 2013
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Thank BrotherO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
22407
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Spotyslvania/Fredericksburg the Epicenter of In-Depth Civil War Touring”
Reviewed June 16, 2013

The Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park is truly the starting point for true a civil war experience. While not the tourist-ready situation you might find at Gettysburg and Antetiam, a full dose of how the war truly ebbed-and-flowed and a stark illustration of both the horror of war and the impact on civilians caught in the crossfire is all contained in a relatively small area. With four major battlefields and uncountable smaller venues (such as sites of General's headquarters and cavalry skirmishes) , small museums, and visitor centers, one will go away with an appreciation of what the real war was all about. Start your trip at the Fredericksburg Battlefield visitor center near old town Fredericksburg to begin your journey. See the Chancellersville center and make sure you see the Bloody Angle of Spotsylvania Courthouse battlefield. The time to tour is relative to your interest level. Please make sure you also visit the Fredericksburg museum downtown for more on the impact on the citizens of Fredericksburg.

Visited April 2013
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Thank harris1803
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Frederick, Maryland
Level 5 Contributor
75 reviews
52 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Spotsylvania Battlefield”
Reviewed June 15, 2013

incredible spectacle of combat that really can only be appreciated with a visit. You need to stand in the famed "Muleshoe" which is said to have been covered with 17,000 casualties within a few hundred meters of space. The dense combat that took place here and the view from the position can be well appreciated when you stand at the site. If you like to run trails, there are few better than those of this battlefield. The cut across so many different areas of the battlefield is a phenomal place to experience history on your own. Biking is also top choice here and the new roads of the park offer ample distance for a comfortable ride and fantastic scenery. Its hard to imagine how bloody the fields became during the 1864 campaign and how close the Confederacy came to destruction of its primary Army of Northern Virginia. Had Gen Lee not displaced to a new line about a 1/2 mile to a mile to the rear, he would have been overwhelmed and flanked. This is one site where he was so desparate to maintain this army intact he tried to lead a force to counterattack the muleshoe once overran that his men had to demand he stop or they would not advance. His forces short on supplies and cannon were able to maintain the position. Col Emory Upton made a name for himself by leading his brigade headlong into the flank of the muleshoe, although he was eventually beaten back, he established himself as a capable Commander. Some rumor Gen Grant as saying a Brigade today, a Corps tomorrow. You should really walk, run or ride this ground. Enjoy!!

Visited April 2013
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1 Thank Muldunespeaks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ruston, Louisiana
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“So much to do”
Reviewed June 15, 2013

There are four battlefields to peruse here. We did one in about three hours. This is definitely at least one full day of adventuring. It's also spread out over a wide area, so there's quite a bit of driving involved. Many of the stops along the way have parking so that you can get out and explore a little bit instead of just driving by. I highly recommend the audio tours. They do cost extra, but you get to keep the CD and I think the commentary and stories add to the experience. I do wish the audio tours were a little more seamless, there's a decent amount of pausing a restarting so that it doesn't get ahead of you.
Overall, I'd love to go back, and will probably do so within the next year or so to finish out the experience and explore the other three battlefields, as well as the Chatham area, which includes Stonewall Jackson's shrine.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank RookNevermore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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