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Glendale in Henrico County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Outgunned
Battle of Malvern Hill
 
Outgunned Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, March 21, 2010
1. Outgunned Marker
 
Inscription. General Robert E. Lee hoped that a crossfire of Confederate artillery directed against the crest of Malvern Hill might silence the powerful array of Union guns and clear the way for an infantry charge. Generals Longstreet and Jackson established clusters of cannon at two places, on opposite ends of the Confederate line. This is one of those spots.

Parts of several Virginia batteries fought on this ridge. Usually no more than six cannon were in position here at any one time, only about 950 yards from the line of Federal guns on Malvern Hill. These little clumps of artillery proved no match for the more powerful and accurate Union pieces. By twilight the edge of the field was littered with dead horses and men.

The failure of the Confederates to mass their artillery at any one place together with the superior range and precision of the Union guns, ensured the failure of Lee's plan.

"We only saved the battery from utter destruction by loading the guns low down on the slope and running them up near enough to the crest of the rise to fire them, and the [recoil] would run them back into a sheltered position."
Capt. Greenlee Davidson, Letcher Artillery

The Purcell Battery composed mostly of men from Richmond, was one of the Virginia units that absorbed terrific punishment here. Its captain was Willy Pegram,
 
Malvern Hill - CWPT image, Click for more information
2. Malvern Hill - CWPT
Civil War Preservation Trust's efforts to preserve portions of the battlefield.
Click for more information.
 
who had celebrated his 21st birthday only days earlier. His battery had three of its four cannon disabled, and lost twenty horses killed and twenty men injured. By the end of the battle, Captain Pegram was helping to operate the one remaining gun himself.
 
Erected by Richmond National Battlefield Park - National Park Service - Department of the Interior.
 
Location. 37° 25.216′ N, 77° 15.197′ W. Marker is in Glendale, Virginia, in Henrico County. Marker is on Carters Mill Road just north of Willis Church Road (Virginia Highway 156), on the right when traveling south. Click for map. Located in the Malvern Hill Battlefield Unit of the Richmond National Battlefield Park. Marker is in this post office area: Henrico VA 23231, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Confederate Futility (a few steps from this marker); Malvern Hill (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Confederate Futility (about 400 feet away, in a direct line); "Madness" (about 500 feet away); Battlefield Burials (about 700 feet away); Historic Farm Road (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Confederate High Water Mark (approx. 0.2 miles away); Seven Days Battles (approx. 0.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Glendale.
 
More about this marker.
 
Outgunned Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, March 21, 2010
3. Outgunned Marker
 
In the center of the marker is a portrait of Captain Pegram.
 
Model 1841 6-pdr Field Gun Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, March 21, 2010
4. Model 1841 6-pdr Field Gun
Many Confederate batteries went into action with 6-pdr smoothbores and field howitzers. As such, they were outranged by Federal batteries armed with rifled guns and heavier 12-pdr smoothbores. This particular piece was likely not at the battle, however. It was cast by the Miles Greenwood Foundry in Cincinnati, Ohio for a Federal contract early in the war.
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on April 1, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 569 times since then. Photos:   1. submitted on April 1, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   2. submitted on March 28, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   3, 4. submitted on April 1, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
 
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