We checked out of our motel in Bowie, Maryland at 7 AM and drove down the beltway to I-95 south, crossing the Potomac River and entering Virigina, to head to the national military parks at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville to see some Civil War history. Our first stop was Fredericksburg.

We arrived at the Fredericksburg National Military Park about 30 minutes before the visitor’s center opened, so we passed the time by taking a self-guided tour of Fredericksburg’s “stone wall” and “sunken road” that were at the heart of the famous battle in 1862.

When the Fredericksburg visitor center opened, we watched a brief film about the 1862 battle and looked through the exhibits in the visitor center’s museum. Since we arrived in town before the visitor center opened and we’d already seen the famous sunken road and stone wall, the visitor center was the last thing for us to see in Fredericksburg. Normally, you’d want to check out the visitor center first and then go see everything else. We did it ass-backwards, which was completely my fault, but we did see everything that we wanted to see.

When we departed Fredericksburg we drove to nearby Chancellorsville to visit the battlefield park there.