Cockpit Point Battlefield Study

The purpose of this study is to complete baseline documentation of the Cockpit Point Battlefield, located in Prince William County, Virginia. Prince William County was awarded a grant through the American Battlefield Protection Program, a division of the National Park Service (NPS), to continue identification and documentation studies of the Cockpit Point Battlefield. The Cockpit Point Battlefield is centered on the Cockpit Point Battery which was one of several Confederate blockade batteries on the Potomac River.

Today, Cockpit Point is the only Potomac River battery that remains. Significant data on the Cockpit Point Battlefield is absent, including detailed mapping of the earthworks, the results of military terrain analysis, and historic viewshed identification and documentation.

The data from this study will be used to prepare:

  • Preservation and management goals and action strategies
  • Analyze and mitigate threats
  • Supply data for future nomination to the National Register of Historic Places

Prince William County contracted URS Corporation to conduct this Study. Project information will be posted here as it becomes available. Comments may be forwarded to the Planning Office using the Planning Office comment form.

Brief History
Prince William County is home to eight Civil War battlefields. Cockpit Point is the only naval battlefield in the County. Cockpit Point Confederate Battery was one of four Potomac River blockade batteries built by the Confederate Army to interdict Union vessels. Cockpit Point is the only remaining strong battery which consisted of four gun batteries and associated defensive earthworks located at the top of a 70-foot cliff overlooking the Potomac River. The earthworks which formed these four massive batteries and their connecting trenches are readily apparent. For five months from October 1861 to March 1862 it succeeded in diverting almost all shipping from the Potomac River to Washington, D.C.  

   Meetings + Details  

 Cockpit Point Battlefield Study Public Meeting

April 2, 2014

The Prince William County Planning Office held a public meeting on Wednesday, April 2nd at 7 p.m. in Williams Ordinary (17674 Main Street, Dumfries, VA 22026). The purpose of the meeting was to introduce and solicit comment on the Cockpit Point Battlefield Study draft report.

Agenda + Presentation + Posters

Public Information Meeting

July 15, 2014​

The Prince William County Planning Office held a public information meeting on Tuesday, July 15th at 7:30 p.m. in Room 202 of the Development Services Building (5 County Complex Court, Woodbridge, VA 22192). The purpose of the meeting was to present a summary of the Cockpit Point Battlefield Study.

For more information, please contact Justin Patton, County Archaeologist at 703-792-7615.
Thank you for your participation!