In 1861, General Robert E. Lee sought to choke supplies to the Union army in Washington by setting up artillery batteries along the Potomac River and blockade the waterway. Lee’s artillery placements were to prevent supplies and reinforcements from reaching Washington, and if successful, would force the surrender of the Union army. A three-gun artillery position was placed at Freestone Point (now in Leesylvania State Park) - this was also the birthplace of Robert E. Lee’s father, “Light-Horse Harry” Lee. On September 25, 1861, the artillery battery at Freestone Point exchanged shots with the Federal gunboats OSS Seminole and the Jacob Bell. The short battle ended in a draw with no deaths and little damage on either side.
Remember: safe use of rivers and any designated trails, at any time, is your responsibility! Water trail maps are for informational and interpretive purposes only and are not meant for navigational purposes, nor do they take into account level of skills or ability required to navigate rivers. The National Park Service, Chesapeake Conservancy and/or the individual trail associations assume no responsibility or liability for any injury or loss resulting directly or indirectly from the use of water trails, maps or other printed or web-based materials. Learn more about water safety.
We STRONGLY suggested that you review the marine forecast ahead of heading out for a paddling trip. To review the forecast for this paddle trip, visit:
In the event of an emergency, call 911.
Leesylvania State Park
2001 Daniel K. Ludwig Drive
Woodbridge, VA 22191-4504
Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center
2300 Opitz Boulevard
Woodbridge, VA 22191
Captain John Smith and Pocahontas visited the area in 1608 during his “voyage of discovery.”