Civil War artifacts dug up at future site of courthouse

A construction project has unearthed some pieces of history in Fredericksburg. A construction crew was working on what was supposed to be the site of a new courthouse when they discovered items in the dirt dating back to the Civil War.

In a town swimming with history dating back to colonial times, another peak into the past has been unearthed.

“What was taken out of there included bullets, ink wells, company letters, regimental numbers that was worn on their caps,” says Matthew Kelly, a Fredericksburg City councilman.

Kelly, an avid history buff, eagerly snapped pictures of what was pulled out of the earth by archaeologists and researchers who over the past few days dug through the dirt.

“Here we have a time capsule of one building that in all probability was destroyed during the battle of Fredericksburg,” says Kelly.

It’s an incredible finding linking the downtown site to the Civil War’s Battle of Fredericksburg 150 years ago this December. Construction crews removed a concrete slab that covered what is thought to be a structure that housed Union soldiers.

“Every time they uncover a square yard around here they should dig,” says John Pitts of Fredericksburg.

These findings have Fredericksburg residents like Pitts and Elaine Coley flocking to the site.

“It’s a great find and I really wish they would do more about keeping and preserving this instead of building the courthouse over it,” says Coley

Everything found at the site has been taken to the laboratories of an archaeology firm in Richmond to be cleaned and studied.

In the meantime, a few blocks away on the construction site of a new condominium, complex evidence of a rare 1880s pottery kiln has been unearthed. Digging will begin Friday.