Monday, March 6, 2017

Manassas National Battlefield Park (3/6/2017)

Monday, March 6, 2017
A beautiful day for some exploring, although we overdid it!
We stopped for breakfast in Manassas and noticed the Manassas National Battlefield Park was right up the road.
This area was the site of two major battles during the Civil War.
The First Battle of Bull Run (or the Battle of First Manassas as it was called by the Confederacy) took place on Henry Hill.  Too soon after calling for volunteers, an inexperienced Union army was led by General Irvin MacDowell into Virginia to seize a railroad junction at Manassas, thinking they would continue on to the Confederate capital of Richmond.
On July 21, 1861, they engaged the equally inexperienced Confederate army near a stream called Bull Run. At Henry Hill, Confederate Brigadier General Thomas Jackson and his forces were able to hold off the Union army troops until reinforcements arrived. Because he held the hill like a "stone wall," he earned the nickname "Stonewall" Jackson.
After a cavalry charge under Confederate Colonel J.E.B. Stuart, the Union army retreated, resulting in a win for the Confederacy in the first battle of the Civil War.
Union artillery line at Henry Hill
Site of the Henry House, which was destroyed during the battle,
and the 85-year old matriarch, Judith Carter Henry, was killed
The Henry family cemetery
“To the memory of the patriots who fell at Bull Run,
July 21st, 1861” (erected 6/10/1865)
Split-rail fence (KSS)
Confederate Brigadier General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson
(dedicated 1940, sculpted by Joseph P Pollia)
Memorial to Confederate Brigadier General
Barnard E Bee, who was mortally wounded
here, and is credited with referring to
Brigadier General Jackson as a "stone wall"
Bull Run
Reconstructed Stone Bridge (1884), site of the Union retreat
after the First Battle of Bull Run; although many troops
simply forded the stream to cross!
Sudley Methodist Church, originally a small whitewashed brick
building, was used as a hospital by the Union army during the
First Battle of Bull Run, and by both armies during the Second Battle
Stone House (built 1848 as a tavern) was used
as a refuge by wounded soldiers
The Second Battle of Bull Run (or Battle of Second Manassas) was a three-day series of attacks.
After seizing the Union supply depot at Manassas, General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson and his troops positioned themselves along an unfinished railroad embankment.
Unfinished railroad cut
Union General John Pope marched with his troops in search of Stonewall Jackson, and they were attacked as they passed near Jackson's defensive position, at Brawner's Farm.
Site of the Brawner House at Brawner Farm
Battery Heights where Confederate cannon fired at Brawner's Farm
The next day, Pope converged his columns in Groveton, believing Jackson was isolated and could be destroyed. Skirmishes continued throughout the day, while unbeknownst to Pope, reinforcements under Confederate General James Longstreet had arrived, accompanied by General Robert E Lee.
Lucinda Dogan House, the only surviving structure of Groveton
Groveton Confederate Cemetery, established in 1867 for
re-interment of about 500 soldiers, most in trench graves as only
a few could be identified; there are only two individual headstones
On the final day, Pope again attacked Jackson's position, but was easily repulsed. Longstreet's troops then pushed forward against Pope's flank, creating a sort of pincer to crush the Union army. A heroic stand at Chinn Ridge by troops from New York and a flanking attack by an Ohio Regiment, bought time for Pope to gather his forces and form a defensive line at Henry Hill.
Monument to the 10th Regiment New York Volunteers,
which lost nearly a third of their number in the battle
Monument to the 5th Regiment New York Volunteer
Infantry, which suffered the greatest loss of life
sustained by any infantry regiment during the Civil War
Monument to the 14th Regiment of the New York State Militia
Memorial to Colonel Fletcher Webster of the 12th Massachusetts
Volunteers; he fell here and died soon after;
Fletcher was the son of Senator Daniel Webster
and the stone came from their estate in Marshfield, MA
Pope's troops were overwhelmed by the Confederates and at nightfall the defeated Union army withdrew across Bull Run and returned to Washington, DC.
We had lunch at Uno's Pizzeria in Manassas. They no longer offer our favorite, the Sporkie, so we made our own by adding spinach, sausage, and mushrooms to the deep dish pizza.

Next: Skyline Drive.

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