War on the Landscape

War on the Landscape (HM2N94)

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N 38° 44.931', W 77° 28.299'

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In the early summer of 1861, preparations for war made Manassas Junction one of the most famous places on earth. The railway junction held great strategic significance for the Confederacy, and the new nation assembled its largest army to defend this place. The war effort resulted in the first major battle of the Civil War on July 21, 1861, five miles north of here.

The First Battle of Manassas ushered in a brutal, long war. After the battle, the Confederate army remained in the area for the winter, consuming woodlots, livestock, and crops. A local resident remembered, "There was enough firewood on our farm to last us for hundreds of years. But the Southern troops had their quarters here and cut down every bit of it." From Manassas Junction through Centreville to Fairfax, the Confederate army scarred the landscape with vast camps and fortifications.

[Manassas] is the point of attraction for the whole South.... There must be fighting here, and [this] is the place, therefore, for meeting people, not unlike New York.
— Charleston [SC] Mercury, June 27, 1861


This detail from a mid-nineteenth century map shows the Orange and Alexandria Railroad line intersecting with the Manassas Gap Railroad line. The strategic value of these two lines

put the area in the crossfire of two warring armies in the summer of 1861.
— Courtesy of the Library of Congress

The Confederates built a complicated network of fortifications to defend Manassas Junction. Note the railroad running through the image.
— Courtesy of the Library of Congress

Basket used by the Marsteller family to gather eggs, fruits, or vegetables. The Manassas Museum's collection is home to many objects that speak to the farming life practiced by the families that lived here during the Civil War.
— Photograph by Don Flory
Manassas Museum Collection
HM NumberHM2N94
Series This marker is part of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad series
Placed ByCity of Manassas, Virginia
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, November 30th, 2019 at 1:01pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 285206 N 4291807
Decimal Degrees38.74885000, -77.47165000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 44.931', W 77° 28.299'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 44' 55.86" N, 77° 28' 17.94" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near , ,
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