Manassas (HM2N9Z)

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N 38° 44.925', W 77° 28.295'

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A Critical Junction

If you had been here in July 1861, you could have seen Confederate soldiers jumping down from one train after another at the junction half a mile in front of you. The trains were bringing Gen. Joseph E. Johnston's army from the Shenandoah Valley on the Manassas Gap Railroad to join Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard's army here at Manassas Junction. They arrived just in time to tip the balance of the battle.

A small collection of railroad shops, a telegraph office, a hotel, and a few farms were clustered around the junction. The few residents' lives revolved more around the rhythm of the seasons than the train schedule. One-third of Prince William County's population was enslaved—men, women, and children whose labor brought comfort and profit to their owners. Except for the occasional train, life here was quiet.

With war, that all changed as the rail lines that intersected here made Manassas strategically important. The Orange & Alexandria Railroad linked Manassas by roundabout route to Richmond and also offered the Union army a promising avenue of advance into Virginia from Washington, D.C. The Manassas Gap Railroad connected Manassas Junction to the Shenandoah Valley, Breadbasket of the Confederacy. The quiet times were over.
HM NumberHM2N9Z
Series This marker is part of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad series, and the Virginia Civil War Trails series.
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, November 30th, 2019 at 7:02pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 285211 N 4291796
Decimal Degrees38.74875000, -77.47158333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 44.925', W 77° 28.295'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 44' 55.5" N, 77° 28' 17.7" 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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