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 on this From Enslaved to Soldier Tour

Join a comprehensive African American Civil War tour in Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County, Virginia.

We’ll take you to the City Docks where the first enslaved people arrived in Fredericksburg. Next, we’ll stop at a plantation home to discover what life was like for a slave. Find out about one of the earliest and largest self-emancipation events when the Federal army arrived in 1862.

Hear the personal stories and accounts of local enslaved people in the Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania County area.

Last, we’ll learn more about the Emancipation Proclamation and the arming of the United States Colored Troops (U.S.C.T.). The climax of the tour is when we’ll take you to the location where the U.S.C.T clashed with Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia for the first time.

If you enjoyed the academy award-winning motion picture Glory about the 54th Massachusetts in Georgia and South Carolina, then you will enjoy hearing about the actions of the 23rd U.S.C.T. in Virginia.

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 interictal 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 which happened December 11-13, 1862.

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

  • 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.