August 2017 Meeting – Beth Parnicza

Come join us for our August 8 meeting where National Park Service historian Beth Parnicza discusses the Looting of Fredericksburg, December 1862.

Meeting time: 7:30 p.m., August 8, 2017

Location: Thomas Balch Library, 208 West Market Street, Leesburg, Virginia

Topic: The Looting of Fredericksburg


After fighting their way across the Rappahannock River and through the streets of Fredericksburg, Union soldiers held the vacant Southern town on a cold December night. As darkness fell, soldiers took to the houses and streets, searching for comfort, souvenirs, and entertainment. In the carnival and chaos that ensued, soldiers described not only the unfathomable scene but also the underlying motivations which drove them to loot Fredericksburg. What was the extent of the looting, and could these actions be justified?


Beth Parnicza is a park historian at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, where she also supervises the Chancellorsville Battlefield Visitor Center.  A 2011 graduate of West Virginia University, she joined the National Park Service and moved to the “other Virginia” to pursue her passion for Civil War History.  Beth’s research interests focus largely on the human aspects of war, including the looting of Fredericksburg, the movement toward hard war, the experience of battle, and early historians of the park.

About Craig Swain

"Historical marker hunter" and Civil War enthusiast.
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