Manassas National Battlefield Park Things to Do

  • chinn house (hazel plain) 1862
    chinn house (hazel plain) 1862
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Most Recent Things to Do in Manassas National Battlefield Park

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    The Harris Pavilion

    by Yaqui Written Jul 24, 2012

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    The Loy E. Harris Pavilion is a beatiful structure the serves the community a variety of public and private events. We wondered around a night since it was so much cooler.

    The plaque reads:
    Loy E. Harris - The Man
    Through the years, Manassas has propered because "community minded" people saw opportunities to make our City a better place. Loy E. Harris was one of these people in the years before death on August 17, 1999, Loy worked to strengthen the Old Town business district, knowing and preaching the imprtance of this in giving clarity and definition to Manassas. First Loy became involved with Historic Manassas, Inc., an organization dedicated to revitalizing Old Town. he infused the organization with a new energy and ideas and then led by example, buying and renovating three buidings. Finally, his perspiration led to the ispiration of this City Square Project and he worked tirelessly to bring the public and private sectors together for this common purpose. Loy E. Harris came her, stayed here, lived his life here, and made a difference here. For all the ways made a difference, we thank him. And in lasting gratitude, we name this the "Loy E. Harris Pavilion". May 2002.

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    Manassas Visitor Center

    by Yaqui Written Jul 24, 2012

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    Built in 1914, the renovated Depot is now home to the offices of Historic Manassas, Inc., the Main Street organization, the Historic Manassas Visitor Center and the James and Marion Payne Railroad Heritage Gallery. The site is also a busy stop for daily Amtrak and Virginia Railway Express commuter trains connecting Manassas with Washington, DC and beyond.

    The Historic Manassas Visitor Center is open 7 days a week, 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. except New Year's Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. It offers brochures, maps and a friendly, knowledgeable staff to help you explore this fascinating locale on foot or by car.

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    Wartime Man~ “Fortifications of Immense Strength"

    by Yaqui Updated Jul 24, 2012

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    This plaque reads:
    Wartime Manassas~“Fortifications of Immense Strength”

    During the Civil War, two railroads—the Manassas Gap and the Orange and Alexandria—intersected here. Manassas Junction was strategically important to both the Union and the Confederacy as a supply depot and for military transportation. Two of the war’s great battles were fought nearby. Diaries, letters, and newspaper articles documented the war’s effects on civilians as well as the thousand of soldiers who passed through the junction.

    Early in May 1861, Col. Philip St. George Cocke arrived here to refine plans for the fortification of Manassas Junction, which had already begun. Confederate president Jefferson Davis had directed Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard, the “Hero of Fort Sumter,” to take command of the forces here and direct the construction of the fortifications. In three months, thirteen earthwork forts, numerous rifle pits, and a network of connecting trenches were built to protect the railroad and the army’s base surrounding the junction.

    “Spades and pickaxes [were] so disgustingly plentiful that the mere sight of them was enough to send men to the hospital.” —Diary of Henry C. Monier, 10th Louisiana Infantry

    “I frequently strolled down to the Junction, to watch the progress of our preparations. A large redoubt about half a mile long, and a quarter wide had been erected. It was at least ten feet high, and as many wide on top, with a large ditch in front. ... There were several smaller batteries placed in front on elevations, and the works altogether seemed formidable enough o protect the depot and stores, should the enemy penetrate so far.” —“An English Combatant” describing Manassas Junction about June 1861

    “The sound of the spade and axe handled by individuals who never before dreamed of becoming experienced in an art so extremely fatiguing and unprofitable. Among those becoming experienced in the use of the spade you might find your humble sevt.” —Letter, Charles I. Batchelor, Atchafalaya Guard, Louisiana. to Albert Batchelor, Oct. 10, 1861

    Caption reads The Manassas water tower occupies the site of the earthwork shown in this 1862 photograph of a U.S. Military Railroad locomotive on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad line. — Courtesy Library of Congress

    Erected by Civil War Trails.

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    Wartime Manassas “On to Richmond!”

    by Yaqui Updated Jul 24, 2012

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    Located near the railroad track in the old downtown you can find more wonderful plaques of information.

    This one reads:
    (During the Civil War, two railroads—the Manassas Gap and the Orange and Alexandria—intersected here. Manassas Junction was strategically important to both the Union and the Confederacy as a supply depot and for military transportation. Two of the war’s great battles were fought nearby. Diaries, letters, and newspaper articles documented the war’s effects on civilians as well as the thousand of soldiers who passed through the junction.)

    On July 16, 1861, Confederate Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard received a coded message here from the famous Confederate spy, Mrs. Rose O’Neal Greenhow, in Washington. She warned him that she had copies of orders for Union Gen. Irving McDowell to march 35,000 troops to capture Manassas and then move on to Richmond. Beauregard wired Confederate President Jefferson Davis to request reinforcements. Davis confirmed McDowell’s advance, then ordered Gen. Joseph E. Johnston’s army from the Shenandoah Valley to Manassas Junction.

    Early on July 18, just as Union Gen. Robert Patterson telegraphed Washington that he had “succeeded in keeping General Johnston’s force at Winchester,” Johnston slipped his command out of town. Johnston did not tell his men where they were going, and their forced march did not end until 2 a.m. on July 19, at Paris, Virginia. As the soldiers rested, Johnston rode ahead to Piedmont Station (present-day Delaplane) to arrange for trains to transport them there. When he learned of the fight at Blackburn’s Ford earlier that day, he sent word to Beauregard that he was on his way. About 6 a.m., Johnston’s first brigade, under Gen. Thomas J. Jackson, marched into view and soon boarded railroad cars for the eight-hour ride. The brigade arrived here in time to help defend the junction at the First Battle of Manassas. Within 28 hours, the men had covered 60 miles and made history as the first soldiers ever to move from one theatre of war to another by train.

    Erected by Civil War Trails.

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    General Barnard Elliott Bee

    by Yaqui Updated Jul 24, 2012

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    The Monument reads:
    General Barnard Elliott Bee of South Carolina Commander, Third Brigade Army of the Shenandoah was killed here July 21, 1861

    Just before his death to rally his scattered troops he gave this command “Form. form. There stands Jackson like a stone wall: Rally behind the Virginians.”

    Presented by The Mary Taliaferro Thompson Southern Memorial Assn. of Washington, D.C. - July 21, 1939.

    (Rear of Monument):
    Lucy Steele Clay Chairman
    Alice Boswell Morrison
    Julia Neason Streater
    Maude Bird Phares
    Norma Hardy Britton

    Erected 1939 by The Mary Taliaferro Thompson Southern Memorial Association of Washington, D.C.; Lucy Steele Clay, Chairman; Alice Boswell Morrison; Julia Neason Streater; Maude Bird Phares; Norma Hardy Britton.

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    Thomas Jonathan Jackson

    by Yaqui Written Jul 24, 2012

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    The monment reads:

    Thomas Jonathan Jackson
    (Front Face):
    Thomas Jonathan
    Jackson
    1824 1863

    (Right Face):
    First Battle of Manassas July 21, 1861.

    (Left Face):
    There Stands Jackson Like a Stonewall

    (Rear Face):
    ** Erected by **
    The State of Virginia
    Under Act of 1938
    Governors
    George C. Peery
    James H. Price

    Sponsors
    John W. Rust
    Henry T. Wickham
    Aubrey G. Weaver

    Erected 1940 by The State of Virginia.

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    Brigadier General Francis Stebbings Bartow

    by Yaqui Written Jul 24, 2012

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    The plaque reads:
    Brigadier General Francis Stebbings Bartow
    Born Savannah Georgia, Sept. 16, 1816
    Mortally wounded on this spot,
    July 21, 1861
    Commanded 7th, 8th, 9th & 11th Georgia &
    1st Kentucky Regiments
    The first Confederate officer
    to give his life on the field.

    Erected 1936 by the Georgia Division, United Daughters of the Confederacy and the WPA—Works Progress Administration.

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    Memory of Patriots Memorial

    by Yaqui Written Jul 24, 2012

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    This monument is also known as the First Bull Run Monument.

    The Henry Hill Monument and Marker inscription reads In memory of the Patriots who fell at Bull Run. July 21, 1861. And Erected June 13, 1865.

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    Honoring Our Dead

    by Yaqui Updated Jul 24, 2012

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    The plaque reads:

    Union Soldiers built Henry Hill Monument to commemorate those who died at First Bull Run (Manassas). For many Civil War veterans this had been their first battle. Intense memories drew both Union and Confederate soldiers back to this scene years after the war.

    The background of the marker is a photograph of the dedication ceremony, June 13, 1865.

    This monument is also known as the First Bull Run Monument.

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    The Marines of '61

    by Yaqui Written Jul 24, 2012

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    The plaque reads:
    To support the advance into Virginia, the Navy Department detailed a battalion of U.S. Marines for temporary field service with Brig. Gen. Irvin McDowell's Union army. The Marine Commandant, Col. John Harris, expressed misgivings about the inexperience of his available force. Of the 350 Marines then training at the Marine Barracks in Washington, D.C. most were raw recruits with less than three weeks' service.

    During the fight for Henry Hill, the Marines supported the batteries of Captains Charles Griffin and James Ricketts. The battalion endured a galling fire from the opposing Confederate artillery, forcing them to the ground for protection. Union troops soon fell back in disorder. After regrouping near the Stone House, the Marines participated in two subsequent attempts to recapture the plateau. Although both attacks failed, the conduct of the Marines at First Manassas received praise from Union and Confederate soldiers alike.

    (Captions on Right):
    Maj. John B. Reynolds, a veteran of both the Seminole and Mexican Wars, commanded the U.S. Marine Battalion at First Manassas.

    2nd Lt. Robert E. Hitchcock was the first Marine Corps officer killed in the Civil War, struck down by Confederate artillery fire on Henry Hill.

    (Captions at Bottom):
    "The green pines were filled with

    By Stephen Santelli, July 17, 2011
    2. The Marines of '61 Marker
    View of marker looking north along walking trail.

    79th Highlanders and the red-breeched Brookly Zouaves, but the only men that were killed and wounded twenty to thrity yards behind and in the rear of our lines were the United States Marines."
    -Surgeon Daniel M. Conrad, 2nd Virginia

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    The Grave of Our Dear Mother, Judith Henry

    by Yaqui Updated Jul 24, 2012

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    It reads:

    Killed near this spot by the explosion of shells in her dwelling during the Battle of the 21st of July, 1861. When killed she was in her 85th year and confined to her bed by the infirmities of age. Her husband Dr. Isaac Henry was a Surgeon in the United States Navy on board the frigate Constellation, Commanded by Com. Truxton, one of the six Captains appointed by Washington in the organization of the Navy, 1794.

    Our Mother through her long life, thirty five years of which were spent at this place, was greatly loved and esteemed for her kind, gentle and Christian spirit.

    Sadley, Mrs. Judith Carter Henry, owner of the Henry House when the Battle of First Manassas (Bull Run) started, was the first civilian casualty of the Civil War. Bedridden and infirm, she refused to be moved from her house when the battle began. She was killed when Captain James Rickett's guns were turned on the house in an attempt to stop Confederate sharpshooters located in the house.

    Her husband, Dr. Isaac Henry, had died five years earlier%v

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    Invaded Farmland

    by Yaqui Updated Jul 24, 2012

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    The plaque reads:
    Invaded Farmland ~First Battle of Manassas
    The morning of the battle was hot and still. Except for a few details the scene mirrored today's pastoral landscape. Fields lay fallow, overgrown with tall grass. Around the Henry House grew rose bushes and a small peach orchard. Eighty-five-year-old Judith Henry was inside, bedridden, too old to work the farm that had been in her family for more than a century.

    At ten o’clock Confederate cannon suddenly rumbled into position on the rise 100 yards ahead. There artillerists turned their guns towards Matthews Hill.

    Henry House as it appeared just after the battle, riddled with bullets and cannon fire. Mrs. Henry had insisted on remaining in her house. That afternoon she was killed by an artillery shell meant for sharpshooters firing from her windows. (Judith Henry's grave and inscribed headstone are in the cemetery nearby.)

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    7th Georgia Markers

    by Yaqui Updated Jul 24, 2012

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    The plaque reads:
    Sometime after 1903, veterans of the 7th Georgia Infantry erected at least six markers on the Manassas battlefield to locate battle positions. Only this marker and one other approximately 350 yards southeast of here survive. Colonel Francis S. Bartow was killed while leading the 7th Georgia against Captain James B. Ricketts' battery. During the battle the 7th Georgia suffered 153 casualties out of 580 men present.

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    Henry Hill Walking Tour

    by Yaqui Updated Jul 24, 2012

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    The plaque reads:
    On the tour route you follow in the footsteps of charging Union and Confederate troops, and stand where they loaded cannon or braced for a bayonet assault. Terrain and tree lines have changed little since that day. As you walk imagine deafening cannon and musket fire, whizzing shell fragments, and smoke rolling like acrid fog across the slope.

    Some of the bloodiest fighting occurred at Ricketts' artillery, twenty yards ahead.

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    The Fight for Rickett's Guns

    by Yaqui Updated Jul 24, 2012

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    The plaque reads:
    Shells were exploding overhead as Ricketts’ men dueled Stonewall Jackson’s artillery, directly across the field. Sharpshooters’ bullets thumped into the wooden limber chests. On the rear slope horses were screaming, dying. Suddenly from the far woods came an eerie, blood-chilling cry—the rebel yell. Through dense smoke, Ricketts could see Confederate infantry starting across the field.

    Up to that moment the Confederates appeared to be loosing the battle, and possibly the war. Here the momentum shifted. At Henry House and other stops on the tour, exhibits reveal how the battle rushed toward the unexpected climax at Ricketts’ guns.

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