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Spotsylvania County is a county in the U.S. state of Virginia. As of the 2018 estimate, the population was 134,238.[6] Its county seat is Spotsylvania Courthouse.[7] Spotsylvania is a part of the Baltimore–Washington metropolitan area. Spotsylvania is one of Virginia’s fastest-growing counties, largely because of its desirable location along Interstate 95 and its midway point between Washington, D.C., and Richmond, Virginia.

History[edit]

At the time of European encounter, the inhabitants of the area that became Spotsylvania County were a Siouan-speaking tribe called the Manahoac.[8]

As the colonial population increased, Spotsylvania County was established in 1721 from parts of EssexKing and Queen, and King William counties. The county was named in Latin for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia Alexander Spotswood.

Many major battles were fought in this county during the Civil War, including the Battle of ChancellorsvilleBattle of the WildernessBattle of Fredericksburg, and Battle of Spotsylvania Court House. The war resulted in widespread disruption and opportunity: some 10,000 African-American slaves left area plantations and city households to cross the Rappahannock River, reaching the Union lines and gaining freedom. This exodus is commemorated by historical markers on both sides of the river.[9]

General Stonewall Jackson was shot and mortally wounded by friendly fire in Spotsylvania County during the Battle of Chancellorsville. A group of Confederate soldiers from North Carolina were in the woods and heard General Jackson’s party returning from reconnoitering the Union lines. They mistook them for a Federal patrol and fired on them, wounding Jackson in both arms. His left arm was amputated. General Jackson died a few days later from pneumonia at nearby Guinea Station. He and other Confederate wounded were being gathered there for evacuation to hospitals to the south and further away from enemy lines.

Geography[edit]

Spotsylvania County, Virginia is located in Southern Northern Virginia

Even though locals and surrounding areas do not consider the county being part of Northern Virginia and more Central Virginia,[10][11][12][13][14] Spotsylvania County is a part of The DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area.[15] The county has a total area of 414 square miles (1,070 km2), of which 401 square miles (1,040 km2) is land and 13 square miles (34 km2) (3.1%) is water.[16]

It is bounded on the north by the Rappahannock and Rapidan rivers, the independent city of Fredericksburg (all of which were part of the area’s early history), and the counties of Stafford and Culpeper; on the south by the North Anna River and its impoundment, Lake Anna, and by the counties of Hanover and Louisa; on the west by Orange County and Culpeper County; and on the east by Caroline County.

Adjacent counties and independent city[edit]

National protected area[edit]

Major highways[edit]

 

Points of interest[edit]

Communities[edit]

There are no incorporated towns or cities in Spotsylvania County. Unincorporated communities in the county include:

Census-designated places[edit]

Other unincorporated communities[edit]

Many areas of the county have Fredericksburg addresses.