Rappahannock (răpəhănˈək) [key], river, 212 mi (341 km) long, rising in the Blue Ridge Mts., N Va., and flowing generally SE to Chesapeake Bay. It is navigable to Fredericksburg. In the Civil War much fighting took place in the vicinity of the Rappahannock and the Rapidan, its largest tributary (see Bull Run, second battle of; Fredericksburg, battle of; Chancellorsville, battle of; Brandy Station; Wilderness campaign).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.