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Leesburg in Loudoun County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

42nd New York Infantry

 
 
42nd New York Infantry Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 1, 2007
1. 42nd New York Infantry Marker
Inscription. The 42nd New York (“Tammany Regiment”) was commanded by Col. Milton Cogswell, the only West Point-trained officer among the senior Union commanders at Ballís Bluff. Five companies of the 42nd participated in the battle.

With the death of Colonel Baker between 4:30-5:00, Colonel Cogswell assumed command of the Federal force. He attempted to organize a breakout and move downriver toward the other Union troops at Edwardís Ferry. The attempt fell apart almost before it started. Cogswell then formed a heavy defensive line along the bluff to buy time to get the wounded safely across the river.

With the climactic Confederate advance, however, the Federal resistance finally collapsed. The men fled in panic down the slope toward the river. Many of them were shot while trying to swim across. Many others hid at the base of the bluff until dark, then surrendered. Cogswell himself was slightly wounded and captured, spending several months as a prisoner of war in Richmond.
 
Erected by Ball's Bluff Regional Park/Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority.
 
Location. 39° 7.866′ N, 77° 31.655′ W. Marker is in Leesburg, Virginia, in Loudoun County. Marker can be reached from Ballís Bluff Road, on the right
The Old 42nd New York Infantry Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 30, 2007
2. The Old 42nd New York Infantry Marker
This old marker was replaced in August 2007. It read:
The 42nd New York Infantry, or Tammany Regiment, was commanded by Colonel Milton Cogswell, the only professional Union officer on the battlefield. Following Colonel Baker's death, Cogswell assumed overall command at Ball's Bluff. In desperation, Cogswell decided to fight his way through to the Union forces at Edward's Ferry, several miles downriver. Cogswell recalled the situation: "By this time the hills on the left front were fully occupied by the enemy...a retreat across the river was impossible, and the only movementto be made was to cut our way through to Edward's Ferry...I ordered an advance of the whole force on the right of the enemy's line. We were overpowered and forced back to our original position to the river bank. On the river bank, I found the whole force in a state of great disorder."
Source: The Official Records of the Civil War.
when traveling east. Click for map. Located at trail stop 8, inside Ballís Bluff Regional Park. Marker is in this post office area: Leesburg VA 20175, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. 18th Mississippi Infantry (within shouting distance of this marker); 1st California Regiment (within shouting distance of this marker); Edward D. Baker (within shouting distance of this marker); Ballís Bluff National Cemetery (within shouting distance of this marker); Ballís Bluff Battlefield and National Cemetery (within shouting distance of this marker); Clinton Hatcher (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The North: Union Leaders at Ball's Bluff (about 300 feet away); Battle of Ballís Bluff, October 21, 1861 (about 300 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Leesburg.
 
More about this marker. The marker displays a drawing, “The Panic at Ballís Bluff,” London Illustrated News, Courtesy of Kim Bernard Holien.
 
Regarding 42nd New York Infantry. This marker is one of a set along the Balls Bluff Battlefield walking trail. See the Balls Bluff Virtual Tour by Markers link below for details on each stop.
 
Also see . . .
The Federal Left Flank image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 30, 2007
3. The Federal Left Flank
Cogswellís attack was directed through this ground, but found no way through to Edwardís Ferry. Since this photo was taken, the marker was moved approximately twenty-five feet to the west.

1. Brief Summary of the Battle of Ballís Bluff. (Submitted on August 31, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
2. Staff Ride Guide for the Battle of Balls Bluff. (Submitted on August 31, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
3. History of the 42nd New York Infantry. Another Federal regiment of note that fought at Ball's Bluff. (Submitted on August 31, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

4. Balls Bluff Battlefield Virtual Tour by Marker. Over twenty markers detail the action at Balls Bluff and related sites. Please use the Click to map all markers shown on this page option at the bottom of the page to view a map of the marker locations. The hybrid view offers an excellent overlook of the park. (Submitted on November 11, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
The Bottom of Ballís Bluff image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 30, 2007
4. The Bottom of Ballís Bluff
At the bottom of the bluff, the Union troops were faced with fording this branch of the Potomac across to Harrison Island (on the left) then further crossing the main channel of the Potomac on the other side.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,268 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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