Defending the Cannon

Defending the Cannon (HM6B2)

Location: Hanalei, VA 20109 Prince William County
Country: United States of America

N 38° 48.578', W 77° 31.985'

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5th Maine Battery

— Second Battle of Manassas - Day Three - August 30, 1862 —

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.)
HM NumberHM6B2
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, September 7th, 2014 at 3:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 280053 N 4298700
Decimal Degrees38.80963333, -77.53308333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 48.578', W 77° 31.985'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 48' 34.68" N, 77° 31' 59.10" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)703, 571
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 5378 Unnamed Road, Hanalei VA 20109, US
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