Freestone Point Earthworks

Freestone Point Earthworks (HM2NA)

Location: Woodbridge, VA 22191 Prince William County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 35.476', W 77° 14.896'

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Blockading the Potomac

On August 22, 1861, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee issued orders to blockade the Potomac River by building a series of artillery positions that would command the sailing channel. One of these positions was on the grounds of his ancestral home, Leesylvania, also known as Freestone Point. For the next six months, military and political attention focused on the crucial Potomac River passage to the Union capital, Washington, D.C. The Virginia shore presented several prominent bluffs for artillery sites to control river traffic along a six-mile front. The northernmost battery at Freestone Point was used a decoy while more effective batteries were built down river at Possum Point, Cockpit Point and Evansport.

On September 25, 1861, Union gunboats from the Potomac Flotilla spotted activity at Freestone Point. They fired on the point to disperse the workers and in turn were fired upon by the Confederates. This action lasted most of the afternoon with little damage inflicted by either side. Sgt. Walter Curry of the Washington Mounted Artillery of Hampton's Legion noted in his diary that "?as soon as the eleventh shot was fired, our Guns opened on the Lincolnite men of war which were floating majestically on the Broad Potomac."

By December the Confederates had effectively closed the Potomac to commercial traffic. The impending spring movement by the Federals forced the Confederates to assume better defensive positions along the Rappahannock River. Thus the Confederate blockade of the Potomac ended on March 9, 1862. The Gun Battery is preserved at Freestone Point. This and other historical sites can be viewed along Lee's Woods Trail.
HM NumberHM2NA
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, September 12th, 2014 at 1:50am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 304192 N 4273817
Decimal Degrees38.59126667, -77.24826667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 35.476', W 77° 14.896'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 35' 28.56" N, 77° 14' 53.76" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)703
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 10821-10855 Lee's Woods Historic Trail, Woodbridge VA 22191, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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