First Contact

First Contact (HM141U)

Location: Manassas, VA 20109
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 49.592', W 77° 32.023'

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First Battle of Manassas

— July 21, 1861 - 10 a.m. —

The head of General Irvin McDowell's flanking column reached Matthews Hill shortly after 10 a.m. Progress had been slow. The rookie soldiers frequently broke ranks to rest. Some stopped to pick blackberries. More than 13,000 Union troops lagged behind schedule and strung out for nearly six miles. As the head of the column reached Matthews Hill, the rear of the column was still on the Warrenton Turnpike east of the Stone Bridge.

Upon emerging out of the woods, the Union vanguard collided with Confederate skirmishers atop Matthews Hill ahead. Both sides exchanged brief volleys of musket fire. Soldiers of the 2nd Rhode Island Infantry deployed and started across the field toward the crest of the hill. For General McDowell, his chance at surprise was gone. Battle had just begun.

The one mile Matthews Hill Loop Trail begins at the top of the hill ahead of you. The trail follows the opposing Union and Confederate battle lines, and exhibits discuss the opening phase of combat at First Manassas. Hiking time is approximately 45 minutes.
HM NumberHM141U
Placed ByManassas National Battlefield Park - National Park Service - Department of the Interior
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, October 3rd, 2014 at 2:05am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 280050 N 4300577
Decimal Degrees38.82653333, -77.53371667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 49.592', W 77° 32.023'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 49' 35.52" N, 77° 32' 1.38" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)703, 571
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 5891-5911 Sudley Rd, Manassas VA 20109, US
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