Forgotten Forts Series - Freestone Point Battery (VA)


Sergeant Major
Jun 21, 2012
Louisville, KY
Although not a true fort the Freestone Point Battery did see action during the American Civil War so I chose to write about it since I hadn't heard about it before.

The battery was constructed in September 1861 by Confederate forces on Freestone Point, a bluff rising 95 feet above the western bank of the Potomac River. Constructed to blockade the river from Union vessels trying to move up and down the river the battery was an earthwork fortification reinforced with timber. The battery had 4 primary gun platforms but may have been armed with more than 4 guns. In addition, it contained magazines to the rear. One downfall of the position was that at that point on the river the battery could not command the entire width.

Originally the command of the battery fell to then-Colonel Louis T. Wigfall, the battery first saw action on September 25, 1861 when it dueled with the USS Jacob Bell and USS Seminole. The steamer USS Valley City also saw action during the exchange. On October 15 the battery again saw action when it was briefly fired upon by the USS Pocahontas and then again by the USS Seminole.

The battery was abandoned sometime in January of 1862 and was never again utilized. The guns being removed to reinforce stronger Confederate positions along the Potomac. The battery was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1989 and is now taken care of by the state of Virginia as part of the Leesylvania State Park which is open daily. Visitors can tour the remains of the earthwork fortifications and view a period artillery piece on the site.

Be sure to check out all other "forgotten forts" in the Forgotten Forts Series Index (Link Below)