Manassas National Battlefield Park Part II
Last week we discussed the history of the First Battle of Manassas and a few historical sites. This week we will delve into the history of the Second Battle of Manassas and a hike through history you can take the next time you visit the Manassas National Battlefield Park.
History of the Second Battle of Manassas
After the Union’s defeat at the First Battle of Manassas in 1861, Gen. McClellan took command and regrouped in Washington to organize the Army of the Potomac. In March of 1862, he moved his army by water to the tip of the York-James peninsular, about 100 miles southeast of the Confederate Capital, Richmond, VA. In April, he began advancing his troops toward Richmond.
The Confederates anticipated this and moved away from Manassas to meet the Union. McClellan’s troops were almost to Richmond by May 1862, where they were met by Gen. Johnston’s Confederate troops in the Battle of Seen Pines. Johnston was wounded in this battle so Gen. Robert E. Lee took over command.
While all of this was happening, scattered Union forces in Virginia were organized into the Army of Virginia commanded by Gen. John Pope. Eventually, Jackson’s troops seized Pope’s supply depot at Manassas Junction. They feasted on what they could hold and burned the rest of the supplies before they moved on to Groveton near the old Manassas Battlefield.
Pope, angry from the supply base attack, abandoned his former course and started toward Manassas toward Jackson’s troops. On August 28th Jackson ordered his troops to attack the Union soldiers marching past them on Warrenton Turnpike.
On August 30th, Pope believed Jackson’s men had retreated, so he ordered his men to follow. The Confederate troops had actually not retreated, but Pope still ordered attacks on them. They were once again pushed back by Confederate troops. That night, the defeated Union troops withdrew from Manassas. The Second Battle of Manassas opened the way for the Confederate’s first invasion of the north.
Take a HikeThrough History
If you want to walk the Manassas battlefields and see all these historical sights we’ve discussed, there’s a path outlined for you on Hiking Upward. This day hike will take you about 3 hours and you will see the Stone Bridge, the statue of General Thomas J. Jackson, the Stone House and Henry House, among other markers. The trails are generally easy to navigate, though there are some hills and, after rain or snow, muddy areas.
The nature you will encounter along the way is vast. Deer, birdlife, squirrels and water creatures help make for a serene walk or run. Horse trails run throughout the various sections of the battlefields, offering riders and their horses a chance to get out in the open air. Catch and release fishing is permitted in some parts of the park.
Be sure to stop at the visitor’s center on Sudley Road (route 234) for a map. While in there, watch the short film about the battlefields and their history, and peruse the artifacts in the museum.
For a day of history and nature, check out the battlefields in Manassas, a place residents of Western Prince William County have easy access to. It’s just one of the many attractions our area offers. Want more information on the neighborhoods here? Contact the Chris Colgan Real Estate Team.
Chris Colgan is the CEO and Team Leader of the Chris Colgan Real Estate Team. Chris was
born and raised in Gainesville, Virginia and has been in real estate for 10 years. He is a member
of the Re/Max Hall of Fame and is in the top 25 for sales in the state of Virginia out of all
Re/Max agents. He has been recognized as one of the United States’ and Canada’s Top 500
Marketing Experts by the National Association of Expert Advisors.