Established in 1861, the Freestone Point Confederate Battery was part of the five month Confederate blockade of the Potomac River. The earthwork fortifications were exposed during a windstorm, allowing Union ships to shell the location during the battle. When Union soldiers made to shore during the Battle of Cockpit Point in 1862, the batteries were abandoned. The earthworks survive to today as part of the Leesylvania State Park and were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.


  • One of the four gun emplacements
    One of the four gun emplacements
  • Cliff-side gun emplacement
    Cliff-side gun emplacement
  • State Park Historical Sign
    State Park Historical Sign

In 1861, the Confederate Army established a blockade of the Potomac River following their success at the First Battle of Bull Run. This blockade consisted of four groups of earthwork fortifications on either side of the Potomac River. These fortifications were simple rectangular depressions in the earth with a gun in the center, hidden by the treeline.

The Freestone Point Battery consisted of four guns, three of which were positioned 90 ft above the shoreline. It was the first of the batteries to be discovered in September 1861 due to their tree cover being knocked down by a strong storm, resulting in the position being shelled by the USS Jacob Bell and the USS Seminole. The other positions were discovered a month later, though the blockade would hold until the Battle of Cockpit Point in March 1862. Once Union soldiers made it to shore, Confederate forces withdrew back to Richmond.

Later speculation states that the Freestone Point position was established and intentionally revealed before being quickly abandoned once the other sites were properly reinforced. The gun position is preserved as part of the Leesylvania State Park. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.

Leesylvania State Park. StateParks.com. http://www.stateparks.com/leesylvania_state_park_in_Virginia.html. 

National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. Virginia Department of Historic Resources. http://www.dhr.Virginia.gov/registers/Counties/PrinceWilliam/076-0264_Confederate_Gun_Mounts_at_Free....