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There were a few historical interpretive signs around this part of the park, some cannons too.
Ball's Bluff Battlefield Regional Park
Closest available address
Ball's Bluff Road, Leesburg, VA 20176
All year, dawn to dusk
Best time to visit
Summer, Fall, Spring
A small battle took place at this site along the banks of the Potomac River in 1861. What started in a botched Union raid based on faulty intelligence ended in a Confederate victory.
From a historical perspective, this was a small engagement in the Civil War, but at the time was fairly important. It started due to a Union scouting party which reconnoitered the area and mistakenly believed they had located an unguarded Confederate camp. After failing to find the camp, additional Union troops remained there in a narrow area near the Potomac River. Both sides reinforced and after heavy fighting, a Union retreat turned into a rout.
The 200 acre park adjoins an even smaller US national cemetery. Both can be seen in a relatively short walk. The battle is mainly understood by reading historical plaques and markers. Some of the battlefield has been lost to development but the parts around the Potomac river provide a good perspective on the terrain and steep bluffs that helped turned the battle in the Confederate’s favor.
If you are in the area and enjoy Civil War history, this makes for a good, short visit. It will have limited appeal though to most others. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., who later went on to become a Supreme Ct. Justice, fought here and was seriously wounded.
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