On-line Book
Cover book to Battling for Manassas: The Fifty-Year Preservation Struggle at Manassas National Battlefield Park. [Image of cannon in the battlefield]
Battling for Manassas: The Fifty-Year Preservation Struggle at Manassas National Battlefield Park


Table of Contents




current topic Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11


Appendix I

Appendix II

Appendix III

Appendix IV

Appendix V (omitted from on-line edition)

Appendix VI

Appendix VII

Appendix VIII

Chapter 1
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Early Preservation Efforts

Manassas Monuments

Only six weeks following the First Battle of Manassas, soldiers from Col. Francis S. Bartow's brigade placed a marble column on Henry Hill to honor his memory. This monument was the first of a number of memorials that individuals and governments placed on the Manassas battlefields. Two widely recognized and well-visited monuments soon followed. Under orders from the U.S. Army at the conclusion of the Civil War, Lt. James M. McCallum of the Sixteenth Massachusetts Battery oversaw scores of troops from the Fifth Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery. They constructed a twenty foot-high, obelisk-shaped memorial ornamented with five 200-pound shells on Henry Hill and a complementary sixteen-foot monument at Groveton, which had seen heavy action during Second Manassas, decorated with relic shot and shell found on the battlefield. Both monuments display the inscription "In memory of the patriots who fell." Consecrated on 11 June 1865 in a well-attended ceremony performed by chaplains from Kentucky and Illinois, these monuments came to represent the commitment that the U.S. government had toward preserving the memory of events at Manassas. [2]

dedication ceremony for monument
Fig. 1. One of the enduring monuments dedicated to the "memory of the patriots who fell" at Manassas reminds park visitors of the two Civil War battles fought here. (National Archives photo)

Other markers graced the area encompassed by the First and Second Battles of Manassas. The Bull Run Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy erected a Confederate monument in 1904 in the Groveton cemetery, which had been established in 1867 by women of the local community for the purpose of reinterring Confederate remains. The Groveton Confederate cemetery represented just one of many such soldiers' cemeteries established in the aftermath of the Civil War battles. They became one of the earliest efforts to commemorate the soldiers and permanently mark the general locations of the battlefields. Following Abraham Lincoln's famous address at the newly established Gettysburg cemetery in November 1863, these burial grounds gained prominence, and Americans began erecting formal cemeteries with monuments at other battlefields. The marker at the Groveton cemetery echoed this effort. [3]

In 1906 the state of New York added three impressive granite monuments to commemorate the Fifth New York Volunteers, the Tenth New York Volunteers, and the Fourteenth Brooklyn (84th New York), each of which had experienced significant losses during Second Manassas. The state legislature made the authorization, established commissions with representatives from each regiment to oversee each design, purchased 5.8 acres of land in Manassas, and funded the work. Henry Vollmer created the memorials and John Tillet erected fences and gates to protect them. [4]

These New York monuments, as they have since been called, represent the actions taken by a host of states at the turn of the century to erect markers memorializing the Civil War fallen. These physical reminders helped keep the bravery and sacrifices of the soldiers alive while also forging ties between the war-torn North and South. Memorials to the New York volunteers stood near those for Confederate dead. One did not overshadow the other. The unveiling ceremonies for the New York monuments tried to foster this sense of unity. Col. Edmund Berkeley, wartime commander of the Eighth Virginia Volunteers, shared the podium with his onetime Union opponents. Both saw the value of preserving the past through the monuments and the eventual establishment of a battlefield park. [5]

Erection of durable markers on the battlefields represented overtly public statements about the Civil War and its memory. Private actions involved the regular pilgrimage of Northerners and Southerners to the site. Some people came to remember relatives who had fought and died at Manassas. Others sought to understand the military maneuvers by examining the actual landscape. The local chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy held annual commemorations for each battle, which were well attended. Mr. Hugh Fauntleroy Henry, who lived on Henry Hill, welcomed visitors and provided tours of the battlefield. He had amassed a considerable collection of artifacts from the war, and he allowed the curious to view them. His house in effect became a museum and favorite stopping place for tourists. A 1918 visitor register for the Henry House shows people from thirty-one states, ranging from California to Maine, Alabama to New Mexico. Indicating the popularity of this place, in 1900 Henry published a souvenir booklet for the two Manassas battles. [6]

Henry House
Fig. 2. Caught in heavy fighting during both battles of Manassas, the Henry House was rebuilt twice and later served as an informal museum of artifacts collected from the war. (National Park Service photo)

CONTINUED continued


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