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Find out what's happening in the blog. Below is a list of blog items.

May 15

A Well Regulated Militia

Posted to Spotsylvania Museum by Terry Dougherty

Broadside. Spotsylvania Militia 1805

Virginia militia  was established in 1607 as part of the English militia system. Militia service in Virginia  was compulsory for all free males. The main purpose of the Crown's militia was to repel invasions and insurrections and to enforce the laws of the colony. 

During the French and Indian War (1754–1763), a formal act came into effect.

WHEREAS it is necessary, in this time of danger, that the militia of this colony should be well regulated and disciplined...And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That every person so as aforesaid inlisted (except free mulattoes, negroes, and Indians) shall be armed in the manner following, that is to say: Every soldier shall he furnished with a firelock well fixed, a bayonet fitted to the same, a double cartouch-box, and three charges of powder, and constantly appear with the same at the time and place appointed for muster and exercise, and shall also keep at his place of abode one pound of powder and four pounds of ball, and bring the same with him into the field when he shall be required...And for the better training and exercising the militia, and rendering them more serviceable, Be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That every captain shall, once in three months, and oftner if thereto required by the lieutenant or chief commanding officer in the county, muster, train, and exercise his company, and the lieutenant or other chief commanding officer in the county shall cause a general muster and exercise of all the companies within his county, to be made in the months of March or April, and September or October, yearly; and if any soldier shall, at any general or private muster, refuse to perform the command of his officer, or behave himself refractorily or mutinously, or misbehave himself at the courts martial to be held in pursuance of this act, as is herein after directed, it shall and may be lawful to and for the chief commanding officer, then present, to cause such offender to be tied neck and heels, for any time not exceeding five minutes, or inflict such corporal punishment as he shall think fit, not exceeding twenty lashes...

— An Act for the better regulating and disciplining the Militia, April 1757

In 1771, the Virginia Bill of Rights under Article I, Section 13, was changed to the following by popular vote:

That a well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state, therefore, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.

After the Revolutionary war, the militia system continued and the Virginia militia system, as a compulsory service composed of the body of the people trained to arms, remained intact until the end of the American Civil War .

Spotsylvania by 1800 was numerically designated as the 2nd Regiment, 2nd Division.  Prior  to the Civil war, it was re-designated the 16th Virginia Regiment.  The broadside above courtesy of the Virginia Museum of History and Culture indicates that not only were they “well regulated”, but well dressed as well!

Oct 24

Spotsylvania Has a Vibe for Every Bride

Posted to Tourism by Lindsay Leach

Like most things in life, planning a wedding is not one size fits all. Rather, the wedding should mirror the style of the couple – the “vibe” if you will – just like your choice in fashion reflects your personality day-to-day. No matter what vibe the bride is trying to catch for her big day, Spotsylvania has just the venue to serve as the launch pad to all her dreams coming true.


If the bride feels like her most authentic self while frolicking in a field with a band of flowers in her hair, Riverside Weddings by Clore is the spot for her nuptials. A stunning pergola in front of the Rappahannock River is nestled into this 2.5-acre property, also known as the dreamiest place to say your vows. Greenery is plentiful – from mature trees to permanent and potted plants – to make her special day both down to earth and out of this world.


If the bride is dreaming of a wedding like she read about in fairy tales growing up (perhaps complete with a long-train veil), check out The Cove at Fawn Lake Country Club. While there are several indoor and outdoor options, the Grand Ballroom is a luxurious space that boasts lake views on three sides – the most picturesque landscape to watch the sun set while dancing the night away. A quick look around the grounds proves exactly why The Cove at Fawn Lake Country Club is touted “Fredericksburg’s best kept secret” and it was also voted “Best of Weddings” by The Knot for 2022! For other venues sure to host a timeless event, check out Stevenson Ridge and Ni River Manor.


For the bride who loves antiques and one-of-a-kind finds, try on Eden Try Winery and Events for size. Eden Try Winery and Events combines the romance of a winery with the vintage appeal of a barn for a truly unique experience. Specifically built for events, the black and white barn features cathedral ceilings and wooden beams that look positively magical with strings of lights cascading down. Guests will enjoy wines made on-site while the bride and her freshly announced husband pose amid the vines for post-nuptial pictures. For more eclectic vibes that are far from ordinary, visit The Anna Cabana.


For the bride that has Pinterest boards teeming with farmhouse-esque wedding day ideas (and has maybe even picked out coordinating cowboy boots for her dress), Spotsylvania has numerous venues to choose from, like Arbor Haven. Set on 42 acres of farmland just minutes from Central Park in Fredericksburg, Arbor Haven is a welcoming place for some fresh air and expansive green space on one of the biggest days. The Rustic Barn will make getting the must-have photos (e.g., among aged wood fixtures) a breeze. A dock with a gazebo and cascading fountain also makes for flawless photos – the whole bridal party can fit on the dock! The event center, otherwise known as the Structure Tent, is a newly constructed, all-weather 5,400 square foot covering that’s primed and ready for dancing. For other venues that exude cottage vibes, visit Belle’s Pleasure, Revatone Farm, The Venue at Knicley Knoll, and Autumn’s Gate Farm.


For the modern bride who keeps it stream-lined with a capsule wardrobe, The Venue at Memorable Moments is the premier one-stop-shop event space. It is attractively all-inclusive, which even includes centerpieces and table linens. Catering, DJ services, bartenders, and even a margarita man can be added for additional flair. Lighting and draping can create as light or as moody of a space as desired! For another modern option for the bride that has champagne taste but more of a beer budget, Wilderness Presidential Resort has “unlimited venue options for a limited budget.”


For the no-stress, minimalist bride looking for a distinct event with an industrial edge, look no further than A. Smith Bowman Distillery. The recipient of the “World’s Best Bourbon” award in 2016, this venue is sure to pleasantly surprise, whether you’re a whiskey lover or not. The Distillery has capacity to host an intimate gathering or a larger crowd, depending on the bride’s vision for the main event. Guests can even be taken on a tour of the facility on request! Soak in the character of this charming space, just like the bourbon is soaking up jamlike fruit flavors as it finishes in barrels once used to age port wine.


Your wedding day will be one in a million, just like you are. So, pick your vibe, feel it out with a visit to one (or multiple!) locations on our list, and make Spotsylvania County your backdrop to start your forever.