The Guns of Second Manassas

Artillery played an important role in the battle of Second Manassas. From the opening shots over Brawner Farm to the closing actions along Dogan and Chinn Ridges and in front of Henry Hill, the artillery was in the thick of the fight. Today at the park, fifteen guns represent over eighty batteries engaged.

As I did last year for the First Manassas side of the battlefield, I’ve setup a Google map sheet with the locations of the artillery displays for Second Manassas:

The arrangement of guns lends itself to interpreting the actions on August 30,1862. I’d argue on that day Confederate artillerists made their greatest contribution to the war in the east.  Confederate massed batteries played a very important role in the repulse of the Federals at Deep Cut.  Those guns prevented reinforcements from moving up to the penetrations along the unfinished railroad.

Cannon hunters may be a bit disappointed at the variety on the Second Manassas battlefield.  Of the guns displayed, eight are commonplace 12-pdr Napoleons.  Two of the rest are converted “false Napoleons.”  But the five iron Confederate guns at the Brawner Farm include some rare examples … have been the basis for several posts on this blog.  Although I enjoy looking at the cannons, the real draw is the view from the guns:

Manassas 11 Aug 12 070
View of Deep Cut from the Confederate batteries

You can just see the Second Bull Run Monument in the distance through the trees.  Easy to see how the Confederate gunners dominated the fields at Groveton that day.

So if you cannot join me today enjoying the fields at Second Manassas, please “stroll” through the battlefield electronically by way of the cannons.  Look for some tweets from the field.

Published by Craig Swain

"Historical marker hunter" and Civil War enthusiast.

4 thoughts on “The Guns of Second Manassas

  1. Are there any good topographic maps available of the 2nd Manassas batllefield. I assume one day trailmaster will publish one.

    Charles Edwards

  2. We were at Manassas yesterday, near the Brawner House with 4 cannons, two 10 Pound parrots, one 3″ Ordnance Rifle and a M1857 Light 12 Pounder. Did not have a large enough crew to fire them all at the same time so we fired by section 7 times per gun. Sure was fun.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: