Historic Cemetery’s wall collapses

An 85-foot section of the Fredericksburg City and Confederate Cemetery’s brick wall collapsed. The historic wall’s collapse is thought to be an aftermath of Hurricane Isabel, which pounded the area a year ago

The Fredericksburg City Cemetery and Confederate Cemetery are surrounded by a common brick wall. In 1867 a group of Fredericksburg women, The Ladies Memorial Association, purchased the land adjoining the Fredericksburg City Cemetery. They had organized one year earlier for the purpose of caring for the graves of the Confederate dead on the battlefields. 

The association then had soldiers re-interred at the new location, which became the Confederate Cemetery. In time, headstones supplied by various Southern states replaced the original cedar posts. A life-size zinc statue of a soldier on dress parade, an impressive monument, was dedicated in 1884 to the “Confederate Dead.” The Ladies Memorial Association continues to care for the cemetery. Each year they hold a Memorial Day observance.

Six Confederate generals and more than 3,300 Southern soldiers lie buried here amid quiet, peaceful surroundings. 2,184 of them are unknown, yet the park has a roster of the known dead. Retired U.S. Army Brigadier General Daniel Davis Wheeler, a Medal of Honor recipient for actions at Salem Heights in May 1863, is buried in the City Cemetery. He married a Fredericksburg woman after the Civil War.

The Central Rappahannock Regional Library has a searchable, online roster of the Confederate soldiers buried in this cemetery. The National Park Service is currently working on a database that will eventually contain the names of all the soldiers who died in the Fredericksburg area as well as information about these people. Call (540) 373-6122 for information. 

A roster listing the interments in the Confederate Cemetery may be consulted at the Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center on Lafayette Boulevard.