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Chancellorsville Battlefield, Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park


Chancellorsville Battlefield is one component of the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. This small area west of Fredericksburg witnessed the heaviest and most brutal fighting in American history. The casualties from these battles number in the thousands and many lie buried and unknown beneath these hills. Chancellorsville marked the beginning of these battles when Joseph Hooker and his Union soldiers crossed the Rappahannock and Rapidan rivers to threaten Robert E. Lee’s troops camped on the highland defending Fredericksburg. Lee quickly caught on to Hooker’s maneuver and advanced to meet him. Hooker, surprised by Lee, assumed a defensive position near the crossroads of Chancellorsville but left his right flank vulnerable. This provided an opportunity to Stonewall Jackson and his troops to stage a spectacular surprise attack and force the Union troops to retreat back across the river. Although technically a win for the Confederates, they suffered a terrible blow when Jackson was mortally wounded by conflicting fire among his own troops.

Chancellorsville now hosts a visitor’s center as well as driving and walking tours through the battlefield. Historical interpretive signs are placed throughout the park detailing the events of the battle. These same trails provide an excellent opportunity to wander through extensive deciduous forests and open meadows in search of wildlife. Check the open fields in fall and winter for sparrows such as savannah, vesper and white-throated, in addition to the possible northern harrier hunting overhead. A walk into the extensive woodland will reveal numerous woodland species including red-bellied woodpeckers, white-breasted nuthatches and eastern towhees. Of course almost anything could turn up during migration, so be on the lookout for surprises.


Physical Address: 9001 Plank Road, Spotsylvania, VA 22553

From Fredericksburg, head west on Plank Road/VA-3. The visitor center is on the right approximately 8 miles west of I-95.

Location & Directions

View on Google Maps

Site Information

  • Site Contact: Sara Strickland; 540-693-3200;
  • Website
  • Access: Fee, open daily

Birds Recently Seen at Chancellorsville Battlefield, Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park (as reported to eBird)

  • Red-eyed Vireo
  • Mourning Dove
  • Yellow-billed Cuckoo
  • Eastern Wood-Pewee
  • Yellow-throated Vireo
  • Blue Jay
  • American Crow
  • Carolina Chickadee
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • White-breasted Nuthatch

Seasonal Bird Observations


  • Fee
  • Hiking Trails
  • Interpretive Trail
  • Parking
  • Restrooms
  • Scenic Drive/Driving Tour
  • Historical Site