Histopolis Place-of-the-Day

Histopolis features a different cemetery, town, county or other place every day on the Place-of-The-Day.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Histopolis Place-of-the-Day for Tuesday, October 12, 2010 is the Balls Bluff National Cemetery in Leesburg, Loudoun County, Virginia.

"The diminutive Ball’s Bluff National Cemetery is located approximately two miles from the Town of Leesburg, in Loudoun County, Va. Land for the half-acre cemetery was acquired through donation in 1865, and the government received a quitclaim deed from the original owner’s heirs in 1904. Because of its location and size, the cemetery has never required a superintendent.

"Within the cemetery, which is enclosed by a brick wall, lie the remains of 54 soldiers who died during the Battle of Ball’s Bluff. The remains are interred in 25 graves, and the only known interment is James Allen of Co. H, 15th Massachusetts Infantry.

"The Battle of Ball’s Bluff began the morning of Oct. 21, 1861, with Union and Confederate forces evenly matched. The Confederates were more experienced in battlefield strategy, however. As the conflict continued, Southern troops forced the Union army back toward the bluff. The decisive blow came in the afternoon when Col. Edward D. Baker, the Union commander, was shot in the head and killed. His death spurred on the Confederate soldiers, and a Union retreat was sounded. Some Union soldiers escaped down a cart path, but the majority was forced down a steep and rocky 80-foot bluff. Soldiers who reached the Potomac River tried swimming to Harrision Island or escaped by boat or logs. Many drowned, weighed down by their clothes and ammunition. Others were shot by Confederate troops firing down from the top of the bluff. Still others were captured and marched into Leesburg.

"Among the many wounded abandoned on the Virginia shore when Union forces retreated was a young first lieutenant in the 20th Massachusetts, Oliver Wendell Holmes. Although wounded several times during the war, he survived and became one of the most notable justices on the U.S. Supreme Court.

"Since the 1950s, there has been periodic interest in reinterring the remains of this cemetery to Culpeper National Cemetery and disposing of the property. Public sentiment as well as congressional censure has blocked any such action.

"Ball's Bluff National Cemetery was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1984."

Explore Balls Bluff National Cemetery on Histopolis now. If you have a place that you would like to see featured as the Histopolis Place-of-the-Day, contact the webmaster to suggest it.

October 2010

1Whatcom County, Washington
2Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington County, Virginia
3Barrancas National Cemetery, Escambia County, Florida
4Calverton National Cemetery, Suffolk County, New York
5Fort Logan National Cemetery, Denver, Denver County, Colorado
6Golden Gate National Cemetery, San Bruno, San Mateo County, California
7Indiantown Gap National Cemetery, East Hanover Township, Lebanon County, Pennsylvania
8Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego, San Diego County, California
9Houston National Cemetery, Harris County, Texas
10Alexandria National Cemetery, Pineville, Rapides Parish, Louisiana
11Alton National Cemetery, Alton, Alton Township, Madison County, Illinois
12Balls Bluff National Cemetery, Leesburg, Loudoun County, Virginia
13Baltimore National Cemetery, Baltimore County, Maryland
14Bath National Cemetery, Steuben County, New York
15Beverly National Cemetery, Edgewater Park Township, Burlington County, New Jersey
16Black Hills National Cemetery, Unorganized Territory of Southwest Meade, Meade County, South Dakota
17Cave Hill National Cemetery, Cave Hill Cemetery, Jefferson County, Kentucky
18City Point National Cemetery, Hopewell, Hopewell City, Virginia
19Cold Harbor National Cemetery, Hanover County, Virginia
20Corinth National Cemetery, Corinth, Supervisor District 3, Alcorn County, Mississippi
21Crown Hill National Cemetery, Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, Center Township, Marion County, Indiana
22Danville National Cemetery, Danville Township, Vermilion County, Illinois
23Fayetteville National Cemetery, Fayetteville, Fayetteville Township, Washington County, Arkansas
24Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery, Leavenworth, Leavenworth County, Kansas
25Togus National Cemetery, Chelsea Town, Kennebec County, Maine
26Fort Meade National Cemetery, Unorganized Territory of Southwest Meade, Meade County, South Dakota
27Old Fort Winnebago Cemetery, Fort Winnebago Town, Columbia County, Wisconsin
28Long Island National Cemetery, Suffolk County, New York
29National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona, Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona
30Fort Scott National Cemetery, Fort Scott, Bourbon County, Kansas
31Fort Gibson National Cemetery, Fort Gibson, Muskogee County, Oklahoma



Note: The first Place-of-the-Day was in September 2010