Signal Hill

Signal Hill (HMIVY)

Location: Manassas, VA 20111
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 45.188', W 77° 26.298'

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"Look out for your left, you are turned"

This elevation behind the Confederate right flank at Manassas in July1861 was one of four Confederatesignal stations established by Capt. Edward Porter Alexander; Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard's signal officer. Because the hilltop was devoid of trees, it offered excellent sight linesto the north andwest withoutbuilding a signaltower. As UnionGen. IrvinMcDowell's armyapproached, theCentreville stationwas abandoned,but Alexander'ssignalmen remained at the other three stations and "wig-wagged" messages from one end of Beauregard's Bull Run line to the other.

On the morning of July 21, 1861, Alexander was posted here. A Union diversionary attack at the Stone Bridge seven miles northwestrequired him to keep watch on the Van Pelt signal station. Alexander later wrote that when he looked to the left of that station at about 8:45 A.M., "my eye was caught by a glitter in this narrow band of green. I recognized it at once as the reflection of the morning sun from a brass field-piece. Closer scrutiny soon revealed the glittering of bayonets and musket barrels." Alexander had spotted a large Union column marching towardSudley Springs to turn the Confederate left flank. He immediately signaled the Van Pelt station to warn Col. Nathan G. Evans, in command at the Stone Bridge, "Look out for your left, you are turned." It was the first time inhistory that the wigwag system hadbeen used in combat. Alexander's timely warning enabled Evans to intercept the Union Ranking column and buy time for Confederate reinforcements, contributing significantly to the Confederate victory at First Manassas.
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Placed ByCivil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 at 7:39pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 288117 N 4292205
Decimal Degrees38.75313333, -77.43830000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 45.188', W 77° 26.298'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 45' 11.28" N, 77° 26' 17.88" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)703, 571
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 9181-9203 Signal View Dr, Manassas VA 20111, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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