Friday, January 22, 2010

Manassas (Bull Run) Battlefield

Last Saturday, we decided to take in some Civil War History. The Manassas Battlefield (or Battle of Bull Run for us Yankees) is a 20 minute drive from our apartment. This was the first battle in the Civil War as well as the location of a second battle one year later.

Some of the many cannons around the park that show the positions of the different units.

Part of the large field.

The first battle was also where Stonewall Jackson received his nickname. The commanders who were trying to get their raw recruits to stay and fight pointed out the Jackson's troops stood as a stone wall so they should too.

The Henry house which was rebuilt after the war along with a monument built with debris from the battlefield by soldiers. Mrs. Henry was the only civilian casualty of the battle when she refused to leave her home.

According to the National Park Service:
During the war, the North generally named a battle after the closest river, stream or creek and the South tended to name battles after towns or railroad junctions. Hence the Confederate name Manassas after Manassas Junction and the Union name Bull Run for the stream Bull Run.

We learned another bit of interesting trivia about the McLean family. They lived near the battlefield and had their home overtaken by the Confederate troops who used the house as a headquarters and the barn as a hospital. Since their home was mostly destroyed in the battle, they moved "far away" to Appomattox Court House. Their front parlor became the location where the peace treaty was signed. So, the same family was involved in the beginning and the end of the war.

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