Manassas National Battlefield Park Things to Do

  • chinn house (hazel plain) 1862
    chinn house (hazel plain) 1862
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    stone bridge
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    matthews hill
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Best Rated Things to Do in Manassas National Battlefield Park

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    Stone House - Battlefield Lanmark

    by Yaqui Written Jul 24, 2012

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    The plaque reads:

    This building links today’s landscape to the battlefield scene. The roadbeds have not changed; thousands of soldiers noticed the Stone House as they marched through this strategic intersection.

    During both battles Federals turned the former tavern into a field hospital. Bloody floorboards were hardly unique—most houses in the area became crowded with wounded men—yet in diary after diary soldiers mentioned this particular structure. The relatively unscarred walls may have provided an image of peacetime amid fields of terror.

    (Photo Caption) Stone House in March 1862. The Park Service has restored and furnished the house to resemble its 1861 appearance. Much of the structure may be original: the stone walls, window frames, and some floorboards.

    If you look closely to the side of building facing the street, just to the right of the door is a cannon ball embedded in the wall.

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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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    Battlefield of Bull Run or "First Manassas

    by Yaqui Written Jul 24, 2012

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    The plaque reads:

    July 21, 1861. Confederates under General Beauregard defeated Federals under General McDowell. General Jackson given name of “Stonewall” on this field. Generals Bee and Bartow killed. Old stone house used as hospital. This marker erected July 21, 1928.

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    Henry Hill Visitor Center

    by Yaqui Written Jul 24, 2012

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    Open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Closed Thanksgiving and December 25.

    The park offers a wide array of activities, scenic vistas, historic sites and walking trails to interest the casual visitor or the true Civil War historian. A good place to begin your visit is the Henry Hill Visitor Center. Pick up a park brochure, map, trail guides and check out the daily schedule of interpretive programs.

    The FREE park orientation Film "Manassas: End of Innocence" is shown in the Visitor Center theater.

    Park Orientation Film
    "Manassas: End of Innocence": This 45-minute film covers both the First and Second Battles of Manassas. The film shows daily, every hour on the hour, starting at 9 a.m. with the last show at 4 p.m. The program is close-captioned and hearing assisted devices are available upon request. Admission is free.

    Museum Exhibits

    Artifacts and exhibits pertaining to the First Battle of Manassas are displayed in the Henry Hill Visitor Center museum. Exhibits include audio-visual displays and a fiber-optic battle map presentation that describes troop movements during the battle. Audio portions are close-captioned.

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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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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