09 May 2007 by Published in: Battlefield preservation 6 comments

Old friend Jim Morgan, who heads the battlefield tourguide program at the Ball’s Bluff battlefield in Leesburg, Virginia, passed along some excellent news this morning. As Jim pointed out in his outstanding book on the battle, A Little Short of Boats: The Fights at Ball’s Bluff and Edward’s Ferry, October 21-22, 1861, the interpretive markers on the battlefield contain a lot of inaccuracies. However, due to insufficient funding, the county, which owns and operates the battlefield, has allowed the inaccurate signs to remain in place for far too long.

Here’s the good news passed along by Jim this morning:

The Northern Va Regional Park Authority finally has gotten some money to replace the old, incorrect signs on the battlefield. I’ve given them new, verified text and, by mid-summer, all new signs should be in place. We’re re-doing some of the trails to make them more “user friendly” as well and moving a couple of the signs to more appropriate locations along those trails. Good things happening at Ball’s Bluff.

That’s excellent news indeed, and will make the interpretation of a terrific little battlefield even better.

Scridb filter


  1. David
    Wed 09th May 2007 at 9:05 pm

    That is great news. Jim and the other volunteers do a great job at that site. It is good to see positive changes happening.

  2. Wed 09th May 2007 at 9:40 pm


    They do indeed do a great job, and nobody knows more about that battle than he does. If Jim wrote the copy for the new signs, we know that they will be right.


  3. Wed 09th May 2007 at 11:37 pm

    that’s fantastic, thanks for passing this news along, Eric.

  4. Steve Basic
    Thu 10th May 2007 at 1:29 am


    Good to read and will just add for those who have not visited the Ball’s Bluff site, it is well worth the stop there.


  5. Randy Sauls
    Thu 10th May 2007 at 9:57 am

    That is indeed good news. I’m taking a group on a tour of Manassas and Ball’s Bluff next week, so we’ll be a little early to take advantage of the new signage. I am not impressed by the current markers and in fact, don’t plan to take notice of them at all when conducting the tour. I’m pretty set in my ways, but sometimes change is good. Still having a hard time getting used to having no trees at Devil’s Den though!

  6. Jim Morgan
    Thu 10th May 2007 at 3:31 pm

    Two small corrections:

    1. I don’t actually head up the tourguide group. The park manager does. I’m just one of a dozen or so guides.

    2. Its not the county (Loudoun) that owns Ball’s Bluff, but the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority which consists of several counties and towns in the NoVa area. Ball’s Bluff is one of 20 or so parks in the NVRPA system, all recreational facilities except Ball’s Bluff.

    Over the past few years, but especially the last two, the NVRPA folks and volunteers have done a lot of cleanup (cutting back underbrush, clearing deadfall, downing a lot of small trees) in order to make the battlefield look more like it did in 1861. Those who haven’t been there in a while will be pleasantly surprised at how much better it looks and how much easier the terrain is to understand.

    Randy … when are you bringing a group to the area?

    Jim Morgan

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