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John Washington, a literate slave who shortly crossed to freedom, wrote later about people watching the approach of Union troops across the river from Fredericksburg: “No one could be seen on the street but the colored people.
and every one of them seemed to be in the best of humors.” A Second Battle of Fredericksburg was fought in and around the town on May 3, 1863, in connection with the Chancellorsville campaign (April 27, 1863 – May 6, 1863).
At the time of European encounter, the indigenous inhabitants of the area that became Fredericksburg were a Siouan-speaking tribe called the Manahoac.
English colonists recorded the name of the Manahoac village there as Mahaskahod.
After the war, Fredericksburg recovered its former position as a center of local trade and slowly grew beyond its prewar boundaries.
Neither the city of Fredericksburg, nor either of the surrounding counties, reached the 1860 level of population again until well into the 20th century.
The battles of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania Court House were fought nearby in May 1864.
The Washington Woolen Mill, a large three-story building, was converted to use as a hospital during the war.
Many Fredericksburg-area residents commute to work by car, bus, and rail to Washington and Richmond, as well as Fairfax, Prince William, and Arlington counties.
Named for Frederick, Prince of Wales, son of King George II, the colonial town named its streets after the members of the royal family.
The county court was moved to Fredericksburg in 1732, and the town served as county seat until 1780.
Other significant early residents include the Revolutionary War generals Hugh Mercer and George Weedon, naval war hero John Paul Jones, and future U. There were mills for grinding flour, processing and weaving cotton, and other manufacturing.
Fredericksburg sought to maintain its sphere of trade, but with limited success.During the Battle of Fredericksburg, December 11–15, 1862, the town sustained significant damage from bombardment and looting by the Union forces.