Ball's Bluff Masked Battery

Ball's Bluff Masked Battery (HMBC)

Location: Leesburg, VA 20176 Loudoun County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 6.838', W 77° 31.594'

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...held to the bluff without room to retire.

Two hundred yards to your right are the remains of a small earthwork that may have been part of a masked (concealed) battery which played an important role in the Battle of Ball's Bluff on October 21, 1861. The battery commanded the road from Edwards Ferry on the Potomac River to the town of Leesburg. Union Gen. Charles P. Stone, seeking to reconnoiter Confederate defenses near Leesburg, sent forces commanded by Col. Edward D. Baker across the Potomac about a mile north at Ball's Bluff. Baker, a U.S. Senator with little military experience, deployed his troops poorly and soon came under heavy attack by the Confederates, commanded by Col. Nathan P. "Shanks" Evans.

Whoever controlled the roadway behind you could control the flow of reinforcements to the battlefield from both Edwards Ferry and Confederate Fort Evans. As the battle began, Stone, then at Edwards Ferry, sent 35 cavalrymen of the 3rd New York Cavalry under Maj. John Mix to scout the road between the ferry and Leesburg. Having learned of the masked battery, Stone ordered Mix to reconnoiter the terrain around it to discover Confederate troop dispositions and to study routes "for the passage of troops," then withdrew. Just east of here, Mix's detachment took fire from elements of Col. William Barksdale's 13th Mississippi Infantry. The Confederates held the road for the rest of the day, reinforced their troops facing Baker, and contributed to the defeat of the Union soldiers atop Ball's Bluff.
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series, and the Department of historical resources series.
Historical PeriodCivil War
Historical PlaceBattlefield
Marker TypeOther
Marker ClassBoth
Marker StyleFree Standing
Marker NumberT-51
Year Placed2005
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, October 26th, 2014 at 10:13pm PDT -07:00
Photo Credits: [1] MGARD06  [2] MGARD06  
Locationbig map
Directions InformationEdwards ferry road NE leesburg VA 20176
Location DescriptionEdwards landing community
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 281556 N 4332463
Decimal Degrees39.11396667, -77.52656667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 6.838', W 77° 31.594'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 6' 50.2800" N, 77° 31' 35.6400" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)703, 540, 571
Can be seen from road?Yes
Is marker in the median?No
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling West
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 42626-42684 State Rte 773, Leesburg VA 20176, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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Maintenance Issues
  1. This marker could use another picture or two.