Virtual Tour Stop, Bernard's Cabins
Halfway down Lee Drive, a little more than a half mile beyond its intersection with Lansdowne Road, begins one of the newest and least-known trails on the Fredericksburg Battlefield.
The trail starts at the road and winds through the woods for half a mile before emerging into a large plowed field overlooking Shannon Airport and the Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac Railroad (now CSX). It terminates at Bernard's Cabins, the site of a small slave community.
Bernard's Cabins became an important Confederate artillery position on "Stonewall" Jackson's end of the line. The center of his line was wooded, preventing the Confederate leader from placing any artillery there. Instead, he placed a large number of cannons on either side of the woods and angled the guns toward one another so as to catch any Union troops who might attempt to attack the woods in a deadly crossfire. To the left of the woods, at Bernard's Cabins, stood nine guns of Capt. Greenlee Davidson's battalion.
The trail terminates at Bernard's Cabins, the site of a small slave community. The cabins and their occupants belonged to Arthur Bernard, the owner of Mannsfield, a plantation house that stood about one and a half miles to the east.
The Union Brealthrough is tour stop #5 on the driving tour of the battlefield.
Proceed to Virtual Tour Stop, Union Breakthrough