Artillery Duel

Artillery Duel (HM1PIN)

Location: Manassas, VA 20109 Prince William County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 48.827', W 77° 31.329'

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First Battle of Manassas

— July 21, 1861 2 p.m. —

General Irvin McDowell felt confident that victory was at hand. The Federal flanking column had marched around and behind the Confederate defenses along Bull Run. Nearly 18,000 troops were at, or en route, to the front. Confederate resistance on Matthews hill had collapsed. After a two-hour delay to reorganize his available men, the Union commander turned his attention to pressing the retreating foe and occupying Henry Hill.

McDowell directed two artillery batteries, eleven guns total, to occupy this high ground. The battery commanders protested the lack of infantry support would make their cannon vulnerable to capture. The order stood. No sooner had the Federal artillery unlimbered when Confederate batteries opened fire from only 300 yards away. Over the next hour, the opposing batteries dueled across the field. Suddenly from the far woods came a blood-chilling cry—the rebel yell. Through the dense smoke, Confederate infantry swarmed across the field.

Captain James B. Ricketts, Company I, 1st U.S. Artillery. Ricketts fell wounded in the thigh while commanding his battery. Captured by the Confederates, Ricketts recuperated at the nearby Portici plantation before being imprisoned in Richmond.

Painting by Sidney King
Placed ByManassas National Battlefield Park, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, November 23rd, 2015 at 9:04am PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 281015 N 4299134
Decimal Degrees38.81378333, -77.52215000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 48.827', W 77° 31.329'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 48' 49.62" N, 77° 31' 19.74" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)703, 571
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 6511 Sudley Rd, Manassas VA 20109, US
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