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Civil War Site Spotsylvania Courthouse

  • Route 1 and SR208 Spotsylvania, VA 22553
  • P. (540) 891-8687
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SPOTSYLVANIA, 6.6 m., is little but a green with a courthouse and jail, and an old hotel. Spotsylvania Co. was formed by an act of the Virginia Assem- bly of 1720 which recited that "the frontiers toward the high mountains are exposed to danger from the Indians and the late settlement of the French to the westward" and that it was necessary to organize the territory; it provided that "fifteen hundred pounds current money of Virginia shall be paid by treasurer to the governor for these uses to wit: 500 to be expended in a Church, Court House, Prison, Pillory and Stocks, in said county; 1000 to be laid in arms, am-unition, etc., of which each Christian Tyetheable is to have one firelock musket, one socket, bayonet fixed thereto, one cartouche box, eight pounds bullets and two pounds powder." The county was later divided; the seat at first was Ger- manna, but it was moved to Fredericksburg in 1732 because Germanna did not have accommodations for the justices and others coming to the court. In 1778 the seat was moved to Andrew's Tavern near the center of the county, and in 1839 to its present site.The two-story yellow COURTHOUSE with a porticoed front was built in 1870 toreplace one that was half destroyed during the battle of 1864; the little jail (R) was built in 1854. SPOTSYLVANIA TAVERN/opposite a corner of the green, is at the head of State 51 and forces the highway to turn sharply (L). It is a long rambling two-and-a-half-story building; the roof slopes forward to form a portico supported by four large pillars that spread out into square bases. The little stoop rises to the front door under the portico. This inn, which was also damaged in the battle, sheltered Confederate leaders when Lee occupied the hamlet on the night of May 9, 1864.