Near Manassas in Prince William County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Defending the Cannon
5th Maine Battery
—Second Battle of Manassas - Day Three - August 30, 1862 —
As Confederates surged into close range, the cannoneers switched from shell to canister. Like a giant shotgun, the barrage perforated the first line of assault, but reinforcements quickly filled the gaps. Confederates were soon cutting their way through the battery.
Slashing with his sword, Colonel Skinner killed two cannoneers before a Union bullet tore through his side. Skinner survived his wound, and later remarked, "I hated to kill those brave men."
The fight to recapture the guns lasted fourty-five minutes - enough time for Federal reserves to take position below Henry Hill. There, along the Sudley Road cut, Federals hoped to avert total defeat. (An exhibit this side of Sudley Road gives the Confederate's perspective of the Union's last-ditch defense.)
Location. This marker has been replaced by another marker nearby. 38° 48.578′ N, 77° 31.985′ W. Marker is near Manassas, Virginia, in Prince William County. Marker can be reached from Chinn Ridge Loop 0.6 miles west of Sudley Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Manassas VA 20109, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this location. A different marker also named Defending the Cannon (here, next to this marker); Third Brigade (within shouting distance of this marker); Death of Fletcher Webster (within shouting distance of this marker); Texas (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Kemper's Brigade (about 300 feet away); Colonel Fletcher Webster (about 300 feet away); Second Brigade (about 400 feet away); Fight at the Fence Line (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Manassas.
More about this marker. In the lower center is a portrait of Lt. Col. Frederick G. Skinner, 1st Virginia Infantry, C.S.A. The right side of the marker is a wartime sketch depicting the fighting on Chinn Ridge.
This marker was replaced by a new one also named Defending the Cannon (see nearby markers).
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 2, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,011 times since then. Photos: 1. submitted on August 2, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 2. submitted on November 25, 2010, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on August 2, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.