Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania Court House
Spotsylvania County both witnessed the ravages of America's defining drama. This is the story of a town forced into exodus
by the harsh hand of war and of the strength that helped its residents find rebirth from the ashes of destruction. This shared
experience would bring people like John Henry Myer and Joseph Walker into a united community, despite diverse backgrounds
and racial differences.
Fredericksburg had enjoyed prosperity as a colonial-era
tobacco port, but economic and agricultural changes diminished this importance. By the 1850s, Fredericksburg had been eclipsed
by Richmond to the south and Alexandria to the north. Shortly before the Civil War, a small industrial boom revitalized the
town only to be cast asunder by the events of 1861-1865. Ten miles south is Spotsylvania Court House, the county seat. Here,
too, fate would deal a blow as warring armies raged over the pastoral setting, leaving destruction in their wake.
Free-lance writer John F. Cummings, Director
of the Spotsylvania Battlefield Education Association, has assembled a captivating collection of images that portray a region
torn by war and lovingly rebuilt by its citizens. Vintage photographs, many of which have never before appeared in book form,
reveal landmarks that justify Fredericksburg's claim to be "America's Most Historic City", as well as a number of lesser-known
and obscure sites. Using many "then and now" comparisons, readers will see the way that architectural and cultural treasures
have both endured and succumbed to nearly 50 years of change. Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania Court House will no
doubt find an applauded welcome in homes across the region.