Fredericksburg, Virginia, a city on the Rappahannock River, 48 miles (77 km) southwest of Washington, D.C. It is the site of Mary Washington College.
Settlers arrived in the Fredericksburg area in 1671, and the town was laid out in 1727. It grew rapidly as a shipping center and was a thriving community during the Revolutionary War. Historic buildings from that early period include the homes of George Washington's mother and sister; the Rising Sun Tavern, a meeting place of patriots during the revolutionary period; and the law office of James Monroe, who lived in Fredericksburg during 1786–89.
Fredericksburg was the scene of one of the fiercest battles of the Civil War—the Battle of Fredericksburg (1862). Nearby is Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County Battlefields Memorial National Military Park, commemorating this battle and others fought in the vicinity—Chancellorsville (1863), the Wilderness (1864), and Spotsylvania Court House (1864).