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History

Spotsylvania County was formed in 1721, and named for Alexander Spotswood, Colonial Governor of Virginia. Spotswood’s ironworks founded in the early 1700’s and Spotswood’s "Iron Mines Company," a mining and smelting operation leads to the county's early development. This was the first fully equipped iron furnace in the colonies and a wharf was built at the mouth of Massaponax Creek where ships docked to load wares for colonial ports. Remnants of the ironworks are still found in the County.

Four major Civil War battles were fought in Spotsylvania County including The Battle of Fredericksburg on December 13, 1862. This battle is known as General Robert E. Lee’s easiest victory. Battle of Chancellorsville, May 1-5, 1863 is known as General Robert E. Lee’s greatest victory. Also, it was at Chancellorsville, that Stonewall Jackson fell to the mistaken fire of his own men. The Battle of Wilderness, May 5-6, 1864 began a six-week campaign that began the bloodiest campaign in American history, including one of the bloodiest of the war, the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House in May 1864. Here the armies of Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee saw one of the most intense clashes in American history: the Union attack on the Confederate-held "Bloody Angle." This battle marked the beginning of the fall of the Confederacy. On May 8, 1864 the Union army seized initiative by moving from Wilderness to Spotsylvania Court House. That shift changed the course of the war as the armies began the road to Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court House. Fredericksburg,

Chancellorsville, Wilderness, and Spotsylvania - more than 85,000 men wounded; 15,000 killed. No place more vividly reflects the Civil War’s tragic cost, in all its forms. More than 4,400 acres of the Civil War battlefields can be found throughout Spotsylvania County. These places reveal the trials of a community and nation at war. Anxiety and fear toward the Union army and the elation of Confederate success is documented in Fredericksburg writings through out the civil war.


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  This Spotsylvania County website page is for History, Facts, Archives, Records, Museums, Exhibits, Documents, Genealogy, Libraries, Historians, Timeline, Research, Historic Preservation, Ancestry and Statistics in Alsop, Arcadia, Artillery Ridge, Bells Crossroad, Belmont, Blades Corner, Brockroad, Brokenburg, Carters Store, Chancellor, Chancellorsville, Chewnings Corner, Cookstown, Dunavant, Five Mile Fork, Four Mile Fork, Granite Springs, Lanes Corner, Leavells, Lewiston, Margo, Marye, Massaponax, McHenry, Old Trap, Olivers Corner, Partlow, Paytes, Post Oak, Shady Grove Corner, Snell, Stubbs, Thornburg, Todds Tavern, Spotsylvania Towne Centre, Lake Anna State Park and University of Mary Washington.

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