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The First Battle of Manassas

In-Person Program

Weekend All-Day Tour

Saturday, October 28, 2023 - 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET
Code: 1CD025
Departs from the Holiday Inn Capitol at
550 C St SW (corner of 6th & C Sts)
Fringe: Vienna Metro, south side Kiss & Ride
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The Stone House

Special Offer: All participants who register for this tour by Sunday, October 1 will receive a complimentary ticket to the October 5 The First Battle of Manassas and the Experience of War online program on Zoom. Further information will be shared with qualifying registrants via email in early October.

Led by inexperienced commanders and fought by unseasoned troops, the First Battle of Manassas quickly demonstrated that the road to Richmond would be long and hard. Career U.S. Air Force intelligence officer Marc Thompson leads a visit to the site of this epic Civil War battle.

The tour begins with a visit to the Stone Bridge, where Union forces made initial contact with Confederate units on July 21. It continues to Sudley Church, near the ford on Bull Run where other Federal troops tried to outflank the same Confederates engaged at the Stone Bridge. The morning concludes with visits to Matthews Hill and the Stone House, where the Confederates attempted to buy enough time for reinforcements to join them in blunting the Federal advance.

Following lunch at a local restaurant, the tour resumes with a stop at Henry Hill, where participants walk the portion of the battlefield on which Confederate Gen. Thomas J. Jackson earned the nickname “Stonewall.”  Participants also visit the Robinson Farm, site of heavy fighting during the early afternoon of July 21; the location of the Henry House, where 85-year-old Judith Carter Henry suffered fatal injuries, making her the first civilian casualty of the conflict; and other sites where fighting took place. The tour concludes with a stop at Chinn Ridge, the location of the Federals’ final attempt to defeat rebel forces before retreating to Washington, D.C.

Know Before You Go

  • The tour departs by motorcoach from downtown Washington, DC with a designated secondary pick-up outside the city. Content delivered by the study leader on the way to the destination, after the secondary pick-up, is an integral part of the study tour experience. Meeting the group once the tour is en route is discouraged.
  • Tour participants meet at and leave by bus from the Holiday Inn Capitol at 550 C St., SW (corner of 6th and C Streets), with a pickup stop at the Vienna Metro south-side Kiss & Ride kiosk at about 8:25 a.m.
  • Considerable walking on uneven terrain requires good mobility; dress in comfortable clothing and footwear.

General Information

  • Registration for this tour will end by 2 p.m. ET on Friday, October 27, 2023.
  • Smithsonian is a mask-friendly environment. Masks are strongly recommended to be worn on buses at all times and may also be required at various indoor sites.
  • For additional tour information: