“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

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

Union Artillery

Union Artillery Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 1, 2007
1. Union Artillery Marker
Inscription.  The Federals crossed three pieces of artillery to Ballís Bluff. Two mountain howitzers from the 2nd New York State Militia, detached under Lt. Frank French of Battery I, 1st U.S. Artillery, occupied this area for much of the afternoon. A 12-pdr James rifled cannon from Battery B, 1st Rhode Island Light Artillery, commanded by Lt. Walter Bramhall of the 6th New York Independent Battery, was near today's cemetery. Being in the open, many of the artillerists were shot down and replaced by infantrymen.

Sgt. Frank Donaldson of the 1st California was one of the foot soldiers who helped man a mountain howitzer. Testifying to the tenacity with which they were served, he later wrote, “...the gun crew killed or wounded ... it was being served by a few infantrymen as best they could, and I assisted in filling it with stones and dirt, as, with the exception of a few flannel powder bags, all ammunition had been expended.” This position was taken by the 8th Virginia in a bayonet charge around 5 p.m.
Erected by Ball's Bluff Regional Park/Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority.
Topics and series.
The Old Union Artillery Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 30, 2007
2. The Old Union Artillery Marker
Replaced in August 2007, the older marker read:
Three pieces of artillery were successfully conveyed across the Patomac and put into action at Ball's Bluff. Upon his arrival, Colonel Milton Cogswell of the 42nd New York Infantry was placed in charge of the artillery. Two mountain howitzers of the 1st Rhode Island artillery occupied this area while a James rifled cannon of the 6th New York Independent artillery was placed approximately where the cemetery now stands. Colonel Cogswell recalled: "...the hills on the left front...were occupied by the enemy's skirmishers, who immediately opened a sharp fire on our left. I directed the artillery to open fire...but [it] was ineffectual as the enemy was under the cover of trees, shooting down the artillerists at easy musket range...the pieces were worked for a time by Colonel Baker in person...a few other officers, and myself."
Source: Official Records of the Civil War.
This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the NOVA Parks 🏞️ series list.
Location. 39° 7.971′ N, 77° 31.627′ W. Marker is in Leesburg, Virginia, in Loudoun County. Marker can be reached from Ballís Bluff Road, on the left when traveling east. Located at trail stop 5, inside Ballís Bluff Regional Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Leesburg VA 20175, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Ballís Bluff Overlook (within shouting distance of this marker); 20th Massachusetts Infantry (within shouting distance of this marker); Ballís Bluff National Cemetery (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Ballís Bluff Battlefield and National Cemetery (about 400 feet away); The North: Union Leaders at Ball's Bluff (about 400 feet away); Battle of Ballís Bluff, October 21, 1861 (about 400 feet away); Edward D. Baker (about 400 feet away); The South: Confederate Leaders at Ballís Bluff (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Leesburg.
More about this marker. A drawing of the battle shows the Mountain Howitzers in action, courtesy of the Virginia State Library and Archives.
Regarding Union Artillery. This marker is one of a set along the Balls Bluff Battlefield walking trail. See the Balls Bluff Virtual Tour by Markers link below
Artillery Position image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 30, 2007
3. Artillery Position
for details on each stop.
Also see . . .
1. Brief Summary of the Battle of Ballís Bluff. (Submitted on August 31, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
2. Staff Ride Guide. Produced by the Center of Military History for Army Officer Professional Development. (Submitted on August 31, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

3. 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.) 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 10, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 31, 2007. This page has been viewed 1,951 times since then and 9 times this year. Last updated on October 9, 2020, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. Photos:   1. submitted on September 1, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   2, 3. submitted on August 31, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.
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Mar. 5, 2021