Mitchell's Ford

Mitchell's Ford (HMNFL)

Location: Manassas, VA 20111
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 47.416', W 77° 27.499'

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Confederate Strongpoint

Here on the south bank of Bull Run, Confederate forces constructed log-and-earth trenches to defend Mitchell's Ford, a strategically important crossing point. On July 17, 1861, as Union Gen. Irvin McDowell's army approached Centreville, Confederate Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard's forces withdrew south to defensive positions such as this one along Bull Run. Confederate Gen. Milledge L. Bonham's brigade guarded the approaches to Mitchell's Ford and manned the trenches here. The next morning, Union Gen. Daniel Tyler's artillery fired at Mitchell's and Blackburn's Fords from the Old Centreville Road. Because open fields lay between Tyler's and Bonham's forces, Tyler probed the more wooded approaches to Blackburn's Ford defended by Longstreet's Brigade. Mitchell's Ford received a steady barrage "of the enemy's missiles" for the next five hours but suffered little damage and loss of life.

When Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston's forces began to arrive on July 20, Beauregard told him that he believed the main Federal attack would be at Mitchell's Ford; all Confederate reinforcements were concentrated in this area. Beauregard also planned an offensive movement with the brigades of Gens. Richard E. Ewell, David R. Jones, and James Longstreet making a "swinging-door" attack on the Federal left flank at Centreville and cutting off the Federal army from Washington. When the Federals attacked at Sudley Springs on the 21st, Beauregard altered his plans and sent the Confederate reserves at Mitchell's Ford toward Henry Hill. At 5 P.M., Bonham's and Longstreet's forces finally crossed Bull Run and advanced toward Centreville but did not engage the retreating Federals as nightfall approached.

July 17, 1861. The enemy has assailed my outposts in heavy force. I have fallen back on the line of Bull Run, and will make a stand at Mitchell's Ford." - Beauregard to Jefferson Davis.
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Year Placed2010
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, October 4th, 2014 at 4:51pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 286488 N 4296373
Decimal Degrees38.79026667, -77.45831667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 47.416', W 77° 27.499'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 47' 24.96" N, 77° 27' 29.94" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)703, 571
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 7608-7630 Old Centreville Rd, Manassas VA 20111, US
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