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

 
Defending the Cannon Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 19, 2008
1. Defending the Cannon Marker
Inscription. Picture Longstreet's advance - gray lines of Confederates as far as you can see, driving Ohio troops from the rail fence across the field toward this position. Here four gun crews from Maine were trying to load and fire faster than they ever had in their lives.

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 This marker has been replaced by another marker nearby. 38° 48.578′ N, 77° 31.985′ W. Marker is near Manassas, Virginia, in Prince William County.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
Marker and Cannon image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 8, 2007
2. Marker and Cannon
Road (Virginia Road 234), on the right when traveling west. 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
 
Defending the Cannon Trail Stop image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 19, 2008
3. Defending the Cannon Trail Stop
5th Maine Artillery image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 19, 2008
4. 5th Maine Artillery
Two 12-Pounder Model 1857 "Napoleons" replicate the location of the 5th Maine Artillery (Leppien's) Battery.
The Gunner's View image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 19, 2008
5. The Gunner's View
Looking down the barrel of one of the guns. The trail passes from the right past the lone tree on the right side of this photo. The trail head and parking lot is behind the cluster of trees in the distant center. Shallow ravines running to Chinn Run are in the foreground. In the distant center, the reconstructed fence line, that was defended by McLean's Brigade, runs from left to right.
Earlier Photo of the Battery Site image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 2, 2007
6. Earlier Photo of the Battery Site
Prior to 2008, a single Confederate 10-pounder Parrott Rifle marked the location of the battery. This lone gun was replaced by the two Napoleons seen today. The change makes the display more accurate in several regards.
 
 
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 1,006 times since then and 42 times this year. 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.
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