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Leesylvania State Park in Prince William County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Freestone Point Earthworks
Blockading the Potomac
 
Freestone Point Earthworks Civil War Trails Marker Photo, Click for full size
January 19, 2008
1. Freestone Point Earthworks Civil War Trails Marker
 
Inscription. On August 22, 1861, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee issued orders to blockade the Potomac River by building a series of artillery positions that would command the sailing channel. One of these positions was on the grounds of his ancestral home, Leesylvania, also known as Freestone Point. For the next six months, military and political attention focused on the crucial Potomac River passage to the Union capital, Washington, D.C. The Virginia shore presented several prominent bluffs for artillery sites to control river traffic along a six-mile front. The northernmost battery at Freestone Point was used a decoy while more effective batteries were built down river at Possum Point, Cockpit Point and Evansport.

On September 25, 1861, Union gunboats from the Potomac Flotilla spotted activity at Freestone Point. They fired on the point to disperse the workers and in turn were fired upon by the Confederates. This action lasted most of the afternoon with little damage inflicted by either side. Sgt. Walter Curry of the Washington Mounted Artillery of Hampton’s Legion noted in his diary that “…as soon as the eleventh shot was fired, our Guns opened on the Lincolnite men of war which were floating majestically on the Broad Potomac.”

By December the Confederates had effectively closed the Potomac to commercial traffic. The impending
 
Close-up of Map on Marker Photo, Click for full size
January 19, 2008
2. Close-up of Map on Marker
Captioned:Freestone Point showing Batteries of Lee's Artillery, Hampton's Legion Fight Sept. 25, 1861.
 
spring movement by the Federals forced the Confederates to assume better defensive positions along the Rappahannock River. Thus the Confederate blockade of the Potomac ended on March 9, 1862. The Gun Battery is preserved at Freestone Point. This and other historical sites can be viewed along Lee’s Woods Trail.
 
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 38° 35.476′ N, 77° 14.896′ W. Marker is in Leesylvania State Park, Virginia, in Prince William County. Marker can be reached from Daniel K Ludwig Drive. Click for map. The marker is located at the end of Daniel K. Ludwig Drive in Leesylvania State Park. There is an entrance fee. Marker is in this post office area: Woodbridge VA 22191, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. "Light Horse Harry" Lee (within shouting distance of this marker); The Freestone Point Hunt Club (within shouting distance of this marker); "A Pacific Paradise on the Potomac" (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); "At the Point of Rock" (about 400 feet away); The Freestone Fisheries (about 600 feet away); A Fight on the Potomac (about 700 feet away); The Lee and Fairfax Family Cemetery (approx. half a mile away); The Lee Family Cemetery (approx. half a mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Leesylvania State Park.
 
Freestone Point Earthworks Marker Photo, Click for full size
January 19, 2008
3. Freestone Point Earthworks Marker
Next to Lee's Woods Trail Kiosk.
 

 
More about this marker. On the upper left of the marker is a sketch captioned, "Rebel battery at Freestone Point engaging the OSS Seminole and Jacob Bell Sept. 25, 1861." On the lower center is a sketch captioned, "USS Wyandank dismounting and removing guns from the Rebel batteries at Cockpit Point, Potomac River, March 11."
 
Also see . . .
1. Leesylvania State Park. (Submitted on January 19, 2008.)
2. History of Leesylvania. An article by James R. Arnold (Submitted on January 19, 2008.) 

3. Freestone Point Confederate Battery. NRHP Registration Form (Submitted on December 13, 2008.) 
 
Civil War Naval Cannon 32 Pounder Photo, Click for full size
January 19, 2008
4. Civil War Naval Cannon 32 Pounder
This artillery piece is similar to those used by the Confederate army to blockade the Potomac River from October 1861 to March 1862.
 
 
Freestone Point Battery Photo, Click for full size
January 19, 2008
5. Freestone Point Battery
A view from the CSA four-gun battery.
 
 
Close-up of sketch in upper left of the marker. Photo, Click for full size
By Kevin W., February 8, 2008
6. Close-up of sketch in upper left of the marker.
Captioned: "Rebel Battery at Freestone Point engaging the OSS Seminole and Jacob Bell Sept. 25, 1961."
 
 
Close-up of sketch in lower center of the marker. Photo, Click for full size
By Kevin W., February 8, 2008
7. Close-up of sketch in lower center of the marker.
Captioned, "USS Wyandank dismounting and removing guns from the Rebel batteries at Cockpit Point, Potomac River, March 11."
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on January 19, 2008. This page has been viewed 1,627 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on January 19, 2008.   6, 7. submitted on February 11, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
 
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