Gunnery Spring

Gunnery Road, Fredericksburg, Virginia

Gunnery Spring was the site of an old Revolutionary War Gun factory in Fredericksburg owned by Fielding Lewis and where his lost his fortune.

“Tradition is: he who drinks of the water, no matter where he may wonder, will come back to Fredericksburg.”

Old Gunnery Spring Site, Fredericksburg, Virginia
Old Gunnery Spring Site
N-30 Camp Cobb at Gunnery Springs
N-30 Camp Cobb at Gunnery Springs

N-30 CAMP COBB AT GUNNERY SPRINGS

In 1775, during the Revolutionary War, this “noble spring” was part of a 10-½ acre tract purchased for the Fredericksburg Gun manufactory. On this site in 1898 stood Camp Cobb, a Spanish-American War training camp for the 4th U.S. Volunteer Infantry Regiment.  It was named for Confederate Brig. Gen. Thomas R. R. Cobb, killed in the Battle of Fredericksburg, 13 Dec. 1862.  Because of the danger yellow fever posed to American troops in Cuba, recruiters sought to fill the regiment with men whose medical backgrounds suggested immunity to tropical diseases. The first company of the “Immunes,” as they were called, arrived on 4 June 1898.  The Immunes never saw combat, as the fighting ended in July, and the camp was dismantled.

N-7 Fredericksburg Gun Manufactory
N-7 Fredericksburg Gun Manufactory

N-7 Fredericksburg Gun Manufactory

The Fredericksburg Gun Manufactory was established by an ordinance passed by Virginia’s third revolutionary convention on 17 July 1775.  Built on this site soon thereafter by Fielding Lewis and Charles Dick, it was the first such factory in America.  Its workers repaired and manufactured small arms for the regiments of numerous Virginia counties during the Revolutionary War.  The factory’s principal product was modeled after the British Brown Bess musket, the standard infantry arm of the day.  Only a handful of the Fredericksburg muskets survive. In 1783 the factory closed and the General Assembly transferred the land and buildings to the trustees of the Fredericksburg Academy.  The property was sold to a merchant in 1801 and later subdivided.

The plaque below is located on the grounds of Kenmore Plantation.  The Kenmore mansion was built in 1775 by Fielding Lewis and his wife, Betty, Washington’s sister.

Colonel Fielding Lewis Plaque, Kenmore, Fredericksburg, Virginia

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