The foundation stones in front of you are all that remain of a once grand estate known as Pittsylvania. Landon Carter, Jr., grandson of Robert "King" Carter, built Pittsylvania around 1765. The Georgian-style frame house stood on a prominent knoll, surrounded by gardens, outbuildings, and slave quarters. It enjoyed a commanding view of the entire countryside.
By the outbreak of the Civil War, however, Pittsylvania was in serious decline. Financial troubles and division of the estate had reduced the plantation to 283 acres. Many of its structures stood in ruin. The main house, like many neighboring buildings, served as a field hospital after the battles of Manassas.
One eyewitness recalled: "A large part of the old mansion had been unoccupied for some years and was out of repair. There in huge old rooms with that English wall paper hanging in strips and fallen plaster swept into corners, the wounded were lying - some in great carven four-poster beds, some on pallets and on the floor?" One of Carter's seven children, daughter Judith, was killed on Henry Hill as a bedridden widow during the First Battle of Manassas. Although Pittsylvania survived both battles, the house burned in the autumn of 1862.