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Sudley Church at Bull Run, Virginia, 1862
The first major battle of the Civil War took place on July 21, 1861, along the banks of Bull Run, some 25 miles from Washington. Congressmen and their families, not expecting a full-scale encounter, watched the battle as they picnicked on the slopes of the Virginia hills.
But the Battle of First Manassas, fought by unseasoned troops on both sides, left the Confederates as disorganized in their victory as the Union army was in its defeat. Historians Ed Bearss and Gregg Clemmer lead a tour to some of its key sites.
The group begins the day with interpretation of the battle at Blackburn's Ford; continues with a stop at the Manassas National Battlefield Park visitor’s center; visits the Stone Bridge and the site of Sudley Church; and walks Matthews Hill.
After lunch at a local restaurant, tour the site of the Stone House. Walk to Henry Hill to visit the house where 85-year-old Judith Carter Henry suffered fatal injuries during the battle. View positions occupied by Confederate batteries; cuts in the Warrenton Turnpike where some of the most savage fighting took place; and Robinson House, along Gen. Thomas Jonathan Jackson's line, where the general's stalwart conduct earned him the nom de guerre "Stonewall."
Fringe stop at about 8:25 a.m.
Considerable walking on uneven battlefield terrain requires good mobility; dress in comfortable clothing and footwear.