Sunday, January 14, 2018

'Hidden' Fredericksburg: Battle scars at Willis Hill Cemetery

Close-up of  damage, probably from Union artillery, on the stone pillar at Willis Hill Cemetery.
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If you know where to look, traces of the Battle of Fredericksburg may be found throughout town. There's artillery damage on this church and on the stone pillar of infrequently visited Willis Hill Cemetery on Marye's Heights. On Dec. 13, 1862, Union artillery fire struck the cemetery, knocking down the graveyard's red-brick walls, toppling tombstones and making life hazardous for Confederate medical personnel treating wounded there. At least one Confederate regiment formed near the cemetery before it charged down the Heights to the nearby Sunken Road.

For much more on Willis Hill Cemetery, which is adjacent to the national cemetery, check out the interesting The Swale at Mercer Square blog here. The cemetery is private and not open for tours.

Entrance to Willis Hill Cemetery on Marye's Heights. War damage appears on the stone pillar at left.
A National Park Service marker gives a brief history of Willis Hill Cemetery.
       Google Earth: Willis Hill Cemetery (near top left)  is adjacent to national cemetery.

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