From Enslaved to Soldier: African American Civil War Tour

African American Civil War
African American Civil War
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  • Guided Driving Tour With stops in each location
  • 4 Hours9:00 am or 1:00 pm
  • Fredericksburg Area Battlefield
  • $300Maximum 6 guests

Join a Local Historian for this 'From Enslaved to Soldier' Civil War Tour

Embark on an insightful African American Civil War tour through Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County, Virginia, and delve into the region’s rich history.

Begin your journey at the City Docks, the historic landing site of the first enslaved individuals in Fredericksburg. From there, visit a plantation house to gain a deeper understanding of the daily lives of the enslaved people. Learn about one of the earliest and most significant acts of self-emancipation, sparked by the arrival of the Federal army in 1862.

Hear the poignant stories and experiences of the enslaved people from Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County. As the tour progresses, explore the profound impact of the Emancipation Proclamation and the subsequent formation and deployment of the United States Colored Troops (U.S.C.T.). The tour culminates with a visit to the historic battleground where the U.S.C.T. bravely engaged Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia for the first time.

If the Academy Award-winning film “Glory,” which depicts the valor of the 54th Massachusetts in Georgia and South Carolina, captivated you, then the tales of the 23rd U.S.C.T.’s exploits in Virginia will resonate deeply with you.

Along the way, our local battlefield guide historians will answer some of these popular questions.

  • What is the difference between Agricultural and Urban slaves?
  • How could so few people control so many slaves?
  • How interconnected was slavery to this community,, and what was the impact when slavery ended?
  • What is one of the largest slave escapes during the Civil War?
  • Will black soldiers fight against their old slaveholders?
  • Are slaves too timid to be soldiers?
  • Were there 300,000 black Confederate soldiers?
  • And much more…..

This private battlefield tour pairs nicely with the Battle of Fredericksburg. If you would like a custom Civil War tour based on your areas of interest, explore our Custom American Civil War Tours option. 

If you have any questions, please get in touch

Let a Local Battlefield Guide Show You the Way

Let us show you the way as you relax and skip the self-guided tour hassle. Your own battlefield guide will meet you at the Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center; in front of the museum shop building off of the back parking lot.

After an introduction, your battlefield guide will join your vehicle as you depart to your first stop. It is recommended that the battlefield guide drive your vehicle so you can relax and enjoy the tour, but it’s up to you who drives.

Joining your vehicle keeps the cost down so you can see more battlefields with us.

Step-on battlefield guides are available for larger passenger vehicles (van or bus). For more information and prices, please contact us.

What's Included on this African American History Civil War Tour

  • Professional & qualified local battlefield guide
  • Locate ancestor’s regiment on the battlefield With advance notice only
  • A 15% discount on purchases of $50 and above at the Fredericksburg National Park Battlefield Museum gift shop

What to Bring

  • Comfortable shoes
  • Bottled water
  • Jacket & umbrella
  • Sunglasses & sunscreen
  • Hat & light clothes
  • Insect repellant

What's Not Included

  • Vehicle
  • Visit to the Battlefield Visitor Center museum, film, and gift shop
  • Food & drinks
  • Gratuities Optional


  • Tour meets at 9:00 am or 1:00 pm at the Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center; in front of the museum shop building off of the back parking lot – 1013 Lafayette Blvd. Fredericksburg, Va. 22401.
  • A comprehensive African American Civil War tour
  • Visit a plantation and discover what life was like for a slave
  • Hear the personal stories of the enslaved people
  • President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation
  • Learn about the arming of the United States Colored Troops (U.S.C.T.)

Special Notes

  • The minimum recommended age is 10 years old.
  • The tour makes multiple stops and gets out of the vehicle
  • Walking at stops is minimal, usually steps from the vehicle (no hiking involved)
  • Tour can accommodate those with mobility challenges
  • Traveling between stops has commentary
  • The tour continues in all weather conditions as adjustments can be made to make everyone comfortable
  • We can locate an ancestor’s unit on the battlefield for no additional charge by simply giving us their unit’s information, for example, 10th New York regiment – Advance notice of a week or more is advised to better prepare.


Related Tours


Battle of Fredericksburg

This tour goes beyond the stone wall at Marye’s Heights. We’ll spend time around the town of Fredericksburg as well as Slaughter Pen Farm & Prospect Hill.
Past Event: May 20, 2023

159th Anniversary of Spotsylvania Courthouse Special Event

Join us for a special event commemorating the 159th anniversary of the Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse, with two historians and authors.