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First Manassas Battlefield Trail

First Battle of Bull Run
id_3382661
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 7 miles
Duration: Half day
Family Friendly

Overview :  This was the first major land battle of the armies in Virginia. On July 16, 1861, the untried Union army under Brig. Gen. Irvin... more »

Tips:  Some trail intersections are not clearly marked. Make sure to bring a trail map with you. Trail maps are located at the Henry Hill... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Henry Hill Loop Trail

This spot marks the counter attack within the first battle of Manassas. The marker inscription reads:

Dead cannoneers lay in rows between their cannon, dead horses along the back slope; the Union guns were immobilized yet still a magnet for both armies. Up this slope marched the 14th Brooklyn, resplendent in Zouave uniforms. They managed to... More

2. Henry Hill Loop trail

This spot marks the spot where Confederate sharpshooters successfully took over Union cannons.

3. Henry Hill Loop Trail

The inscription reads, "In clear view of artillerymen here, Confederates lined up at the fence and trees across the open field. The two cannon and supporting infantry could have stopped the Rebels cold, yet the four hundred charging Virginians were able to fire a musket volley at such close range that they virtually wiped out the Union gun... More

4. Henry Hill Loop Trail

This spot marks the Confederate uphill charge. The Marker inscription reads:

The Virginians were waiting, tense, here at the wood's edge - their first time under bombardment. Shells from Ricketts' battery exploded in the boughs overhead and plowed up the ground in front. When the two Union cannon rolled into position on top of the rise only 100... More

5. Henry Hill Loop Trail

The marker inscription reads:

July 21, 1861 2:00 p.m.

Army of the Potomac (Beauregard), CSA

Washington (Louisiana) Artillery Battalion
Maj. John B. Walton
Three 6-pounder Smoothbores
Two 6-pounder Rifled Guns.

"We advanced by hand to the front until finally the battery was upon the crown of the hill, entirely exposed to the view of their ... More

6. Henry Hill Loop Trail

Sign indicating the direction towards the First Manassas Trail and Henry Hill Loop.

7. Henry Hill Loop Trail

The marker inscription reads:

On the brow of the hill Brig. Gen. Bernard Bee was desperately trying to rally his men when he caught sight of Thomas J. Jackson with fresh troops here at the edge of the pine thicket.

"Look!" Bee shouted. "There stands Jackson like a stone wall! Rally behind the Virginians!"

The nickname spread... More

8. Henry Hill Lopp Trail

This is the view of the battlefield from the cannon position.

9. Henry Hill Loop Trail

This marks the spot of the Robinson House.The marker inscription reads:

The home of James Robinson (a freed slave) stood here at the time of the battle. That morning hundreds of Confederates streamed through the yard as they retreated from the Union attach. Surprisingly, the property suffered little damage in the first battle, but Union troops... More

10. Henry Hill Loop Trail

The marker inscription reads:

Shot-up Confederate regiments stumbled past, in retreat from Matthews Hill. First along Warrenton Pike, then in Robinson's Lane, Col. Wade Hampton's South Carolinians tried to delay the Union advance. Slowly, with volley after volley of musket fire, the Union wave forced Hampton's Legion back past Robinson House... More

11. Henry Hill Loop Trail

The marker inscription reads:

From the ridge beyond Stone House 15,000 Federals were swiftly advancing in this direction. Confederate Capt. John Imboden rushed four cannon into position here, to try to slow the Federal attack. Behind this slight rise the artillerists had some protection from enemy bombardment.

Though the smoke and dust,... More

12. Henry Hill Loop Trail

This marks the spot of the Henry House. Mrs. Henry had insisted on remaining in her house. That afternoon she was killed by an artillery shell meant for sharpshooters firing from her windows. Judith Henry's grave and inscribed headstone are in the cemetery nearby. The marker inscription reads:

The morning of the battle was hot and still. Except... More

13. Henry Hill Monument

The marker inscription reads:

Inscription. Union Soldiers built Henry Hill Monument to commemorate those who died at First Bull Run (Manassas). For many Civil War veterans this had been their first battle. Intense memories drew both Union and Confederate soldiers back to this scene years after the war.

14. Ricketts Guns

The marker inscription reads:

Shells were exploding overhead as Ricketts' men dueled Stonewall Jackson's artillery, directly across the field. Sharpshooters' bullets thumped into the wooden limber chests. On the rear slope horses were screaming, dying. Suddenly from the far woods came an eerie, blood-chilling cry, the rebel yell. Through dense... More

15. First Manassas Trail

Sign indicating the direction towards the First Manassas trail and Henry Hill Loop trail.

16. First Manassas Trail

This is the well maintained path that leads into the forest.

17. First Manassas Trail

The First Manassas trail has a few walking bridges and boardwalks. Here is the first walking bridge along the trail.

18. First Manassas Trail

Sign indicating the direction towards the First Manassas trail and the Van Pelt location.

19. First Manassas Trail

Curious deers roam around the trail. This deer did not move until about 20 feet from reaching the deer.

20. First Manassas Trail

Trail path crossing Young's Branch on a bridge.

21. First Manassas Trail

View of Young's Branch from the bridge.

22. First Manassas Trail

Trail path to Van Pelt. Use caution when crossing the road.

23. First Manassas Trail

Sign indicating the direction towards the First Manassas trail and the Van Pelt location.

24. Van Pelt Home Site

The family of New Jersey native Abraham Van Pelt had lived on this 230-acre farm overlooking Bull Run for more than a decade when the nation erupted in civil war.

The site is also near the location of the opening shots of the first Manassas battle. The marker inscription on the opening shots reads:

Confederates were spread out along this ridge ... More

25. Stone Bridge Loop Trail

Sign indicating the direction to Stone Bridge.

26. Stone Bridge Loop Trail

This section of the trail path leads down the hill and onto a boardwalk leading to Stone Bridge.

27. Stone Bridge Loop Trail

This section of the trail path leading to Stone Bridge is well maintained with a long boardwalk and resting area.

28. Stone Bridge Loop Trail

The boardwalk is accessible to anyone with rolling equipment. Strollers and wheel chairs may access the boardwalk from Stone Bridge.

29. Stone Bridge Loop Trail

The trail path to Stone Bridge is well maintained and wide for large group hikes.

30. The Stone Bridge

Originally built of native sandstone in 1825, the turnpike bridge over Bull Run became an important landmark in the Civil War battles at Manassas. Union Brig. Gen. Danial Tyler's division feigned an attack on Col. Nathan G. Evans's brigade guarding the bridge as the First Battle of Manassas began on the morning of 21 July 1861. When the... More

31. Stone Bridge Loop Trail

The Stone Bridge Loop trail lies along Bull Run and is well maintained.

32. First Manassas Trail

Sign indicating the direction towards Carter Cemetary and Matthew's Hill.

33. First Manassas Trail

This section of the trail path towards Matthew's Hill is the steepest section and is well maintained with steps.

34. First Manassas Trail

Sign indicating the direction towards Carter Cemetary and Matthew's Hill.

35. First Manassas Trail

Sign indicating the direction towards First Manassas trail and Carter Cemetary.

36. First Manassas Trail

This view overlooks Bull Run and the battle fields.

37. First Manassas Trail

Sign indicating the direction towards Stone Bridge Loop trail and Carter Cemetary.

38. First Manassas Trail

Sign indicating the direction towards Carter Cemetary and Matthew's Hill.

39. First Manassas Trail

This section of the trail path leads to Matthew's Hill and is well maintained.

40. The George T. Stovall Monument

This marble marks the spot where fell George T. Stovall of the Rome Light Guards, 8th Regt. Georgia Volunteers in the battle of July 21, 1861. Born at Augusta, GA, April 25, 1835. His life he devoted to his God and sacrificed in his country's defense. His last words were I am going to heaven.

41. Rhode Island Battery

The marker inscription reads:

July 21, 1861
11:00 a.m.

2nd Brigade (Burnside, Second Division (Hunter)
Army of Northeastern Virginia, USA

Rhode Island Battery
Capt. William H. Reynolds

Six 13-Pounder James Rifled Guns

"'Forward into line of action, front,' came Captain Reynolds' order. I dismounted and ran to my gun, and found that... More

42. Stone House

The marker inscription reads:

This building links today's landscape to the battlefield scene. The roadbeds have not changed; thousands of soldiers noticed the Stone House as they marched through this strategic intersection.

During both battles Federals turned the former tavern into a field hospital. Bloody floorboards were hardly unique - most ... More

43. Ricketts’ Guns

Marker inscription reads:

Shells were exploding overhead as Ricketts' men dueled Stonewall Jackson's artillery, directly across the field. Sharpshooters' bullets thumped into the wooden limber chests. On the rear slope horses were screaming, dying. Suddenly from the far woods came an eerie, blood-chilling cry,the rebel yell. Through dense smoke, ... More

44. Brigadier General Francis Stebbings Bartow Memorial

Inscription:
Born Savannah Georgia, Sept. 16, 1816
Mortally wounded on this spot, July 21, 1861
Commanded 7th, 8th, 9th & 11th Georgia & 1st Kentucky Regiments
The first Confederate officer to give his life on the field.

45. The Jackson Monument

Inscription:

(Front Face):
Thomas Jonathan
Jackson
1824 - 1863

(Right Face):
First Battle of Manassas July 21, 1861.

(Left Face):
There Stands Jackson Like a Stonewall

(Rear Face):
** Erected by **
The State of Virginia
Under Act of 1938
Governors
George C. Peery
James H. Price

Sponsors
John W. Rust
Henry T. Wickham
Aubrey G. Weaver

46. The General Barnard Elliott Bee Memorial

General Barnard Elliott Bee of South Carolina
Commander, Third Brigade Army of the Shenandoah was killed here July 21, 1861

Just before his death to rally his scattered troops
he gave this command "Form. form. There stands Jackson like a stone wall: Rally behind the Virginians."