Archaeologists believe that Native Americans may have used Cannon Branch Fort as a seasonal base camp based on artifacts that have been found there, including spear points made from quartz, quartzite flakes, and fire-cracked rock. This theory is further supported by the fact that within a couple of miles radius of the Cannon Branch site, 17 Native American archaeological sites have been discovered and identified.
Who Constructed Cannon Branch Fort?
During the Civil War, when Union forces secured the Virginia town of Warrenton, they began to use it along with other settlements along the Orange and Alexandria Railroad to defend supply lines. The fortification was probably constructed between about 1863 and 1864 as one of several located alongside the railway line. However, there is no specific historical documentation that references Cannon Branch Fort.
Following the battle of Gettysburg, in the summer of 1863 regiments from several northern states including New York and Pennsylvania arrived in Manassas, as they followed the track of Confederate troops heading south. To protect the Orange and Alexandria Railroad from raids by guerrillas, the troops stayed in the area until the following spring. Union soldiers manned the fortifications until towards the end of 1864.
There is no charge to visit Cannon Branch Fort, which is open to visitors every day from sunrise to sunset and is located at 10611 Gateway Boulevard. The museum office can answer any questions you have about visiting the fort or its role in the Civil War. If you are looking for other things in Manassas, be sure to check out the campus. And if you need help please give the Manassas office of Battlefield Law Group PLLC a call.