Occupation or Liberation

Occupation or Liberation (HM2N9C)

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N 38° 44.97', W 77° 28.337'

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Inscription
Eight months after their victory at the First Battle of Manassas (five miles north of here), the Confederates abandoned Manassas Junction, burning more than a million pounds of provisions and destroying the railroad line as they left. Days later, the Union army arrived. A reporter for Harper's Weekly wrote:

The sight here cannot be portrayed; the large machine shops, the station-houses, the Commissary and Quartermaster store-houses, all in ashes. On the track stood the wreck of a locomotive, and was not far down the remains of four freight cars which had been burned...
— Harper's Weekly, March 29, 1862


Most local residents saw the Union troops as hostile invaders—objects of fear and loathing. But many enslaved people saw in the Union army the promise of freedom. Over the coming months, thousands of enslaved people from Prince William and nearby counties fled into Union lines. Soldiers called these people "contrabands."


Contrabands are coming in freely. Today I counted twelve...coming down the track of the Orange and Alexandria Railway, each with a little bundle sling on a stick over his shoulder. Over $15,000 worth of property walking on its own hook!

— A soldier of the 21st New York, April 15, 1862


[Captions:]

This



dramatic photograph shows the ruins of Manassas Junction in the spring of 1862, destroyed by the Confederate Army when it fell back towards Richmond.
— Courtesy of the Library of Congress


These striking images tell us two very different stories experienced by area residents during the war. In the photo on the left, a white family prepares to leave their home in Centreville before the advancing Union Army. In the sketch above, enslaved people took the opportunity to come into Union lines seeking freedom.
— Courtesy of the Library of Congress


Union Officer's sword and scabbard, retrieved from the battlefield after the Battle of Second Manassas, August, 1862.
— Photograph by Don Flory
Manassas Museum Collection
Details
HM NumberHM2N9C
Series This marker is part of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad series
Tags
Placed ByCity of Manassas, Virginia
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, November 30th, 2019 at 1:02pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 285153 N 4291881
Decimal Degrees38.74950000, -77.47228333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 44.97', W 77° 28.337'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 44' 58.2" N, 77° 28' 20.22" 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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