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Fredericksburg, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Big Gun at Howison Hill

The Battle of Fredericksburg

 

— Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park —

 
Big Gun at Howison Hill Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 25, 2008
1. Big Gun at Howison Hill Marker
Inscription.  Two weeks of Union delay before the Battle of Fredericksburg gave the Confederates time to bring up large cannons rarely seen on other battlefields in Virginia. The sturdy gun emplacements above you protected a huge siege gun, capable of firing a 30-pound shell nearly two miles. Ten men operated the cannon; typically, a gun like this would fire a round every five minutes.

As they awaited battle, Confederate cannoneers cut down trees and carefully calculated the range to likely areas of Union attack. When the fighting started on December 13, 1862, the Confederate guns here on Howison Hill fired rhythmically on Union columns in front of Marye's Heights. The crossfire from Howison Hill added horror to an already impossible Union task.
 
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil.
 
Location. 38° 16.73′ N, 77° 28.428′ W. Marker is in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Marker is at the intersection of Lee Drive and Lloyd Lane
Guns on Howison Hill image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 25, 2008
2. Guns on Howison Hill
A 30-pounder (4.2-inch) Parrott rifle and a Confederate 12-pounder Napoleon smoothbore represent the heavy guns placed at Howison Hill during the battle.
, on the right when traveling south on Lee Drive. Located at the Howison Hill pull-off, stop four of the driving tour of the Fredericksburg Battlefield. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 302 Lee Dr, Fredericksburg VA 22401, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Confederate Artillery Defense (within shouting distance of this marker); Braehead (approx. 0.2 miles away); Lee’s Hill (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Pioneers (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Second Battle of Fredericksburg (approx. 0.4 miles away); Artillery on Lee's Hill (approx. 0.4 miles away); Lee's Hill, the commander's lookout (approx. 0.4 miles away); Lee's Command Post (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fredericksburg.
 
More about this marker. The background of the marker is a 1930s view of landscapes from Howison Hill, with fields of fire overlayed.
 
Also see . . .  Howison Hill Virtual Tour. National Park Service page. (Submitted on July 5, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Battery Fortifications image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 25, 2008
3. Battery Fortifications
Confederate gunners benefited from the Union delay, not only to clear fields of fire, but also to improve the defensive earthworks to protect them from counter battery fires.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 21, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 5, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,733 times since then and 9 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on July 5, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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Mar. 7, 2021