History of the Cemetery

The Beginning

The Fredericksburg City Cemetery was established on February 10, 1844, when the Legislature of Virginia issued a charter to the Fredericksburg Cemetery Company. The cemetery faced present-day William Street, its east side adjacent to Washington Avenue, and its rear in line with what is now Amelia Street. The original iron and stone entrance gate, although no longer used, still stands facing William Street. The grounds were divided into lots and then sold at a modest cost with the lot owners responsible for the ongoing care of their spaces. 

The damage inflicted by the Civil War Battle of Fredericksburg in 1862 and the impoverished condition of the town's citizens following the war made proper maintenance of the cemetery difficult to accomplish. Many efforts of varying success were initiated to improve the grounds, culminating in the formation of the City Cemetery Company Auxiliary in October 1925. The efforts of the Auxiliary in revitalizing the cemetery showed resounding results in a short time. Nine years later, the auxiliary merged with The Cemetery Company, creating a new incorporated body. 

To Preserve and Honor

Although the Fredericksburg City Cemetery remains active, hosting a handful of interments each year, its primary purpose now is the preservation of the memory of those whose lives have enriched Fredericksburg for more than half of the city's existence. 

The establishment of the Confederate Cemetery immediately adjacent to the cemetery in 1866 and the cessation of using the William Street gate in favor of the new joint cemetery entrance on Washington Avenue have somewhat obscured the the Fredericksburg City Cemetery's identity, but its purpose remains clear and resolute -- the preservation and honoring of the momory of those now resting in eternal peace.