previous next

[550] Raccoon, Summerville, Rapidan station or railroad bridge, where the Midland road crosses the Rapidan; all of which put the people of Culpeper and Orange in communication with each other. Above Fredericksburg the hills close in abruptly on the river, and continue more or less so all along the left or Stafford bank. On the right bank, beginning at Taylor's, above Fredericksburg, the hills, at first curving off from the river gradually, return in that direction, until at the distance of some four and a half miles from Fredericksburg, they gently decline into a series of soft waves of land, which terminate at the valley of Massaponnax. The rim of highland thus described, which begins at Taylor's and ends near Hamilton's crossing, is the shape of a half of a vast ellipse.

At a point opposite to the town it detaches from its front, as it were, an elevated plain. On the edge of this plain, nearest to Fredericksburg, is the famous Marye house and hill, and at its base runs the stone wall, apparently built to hold the parapet of made earth and prevent its being washed away. The convex side of this encircling rim of highland and the river inclose the plains of Fredericksburg — an extensive piece of table-land two and one half miles across its greatest diameter. Hazel run, breaking between Marye's hill and Lee's hill (the latter so called because occupied by General Lee during the battle of Fredericksburg as headquarters), crosses the plain in its northerly course to the river. The Narrow Gauge railroad to Orange Courthouse and the Telegraph road to Spotsylvania Courthouse, twelve miles away to the south, take advantage of this opening to get through the hills. Lower down Deep run crosses the flats at its widest part, having drawn its source from the highlands; and still lower, beyond Hamilton's, flows into the river, a bolder stream than the other two, called the Massaponnax. On the eastern or lower side of the town debouches the River or Port Royal road, running parallel to the river. This road runs between earthen banks some three feet high, on which had been planted hedge rows of trees, principally cedar, whose roots held the ground firmly, making a low double rank of natural fortifications, some four and a half miles long, and affording an excellent place to align troops.

The railroad from Fredericksburg to Richmond, sixty-one miles distant, crosses this plain transversely, running easterly until it reaches the hills at Hamilton's around whose base it curves upon its southerly course. From the side of the town next to Marye's hill proceeds the Old turnpike and the Plank road. At the limits of

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
W. H. Taylor (2)
Stafford (1)
Robert E. Lee (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: