A Walking Tour of Manassas, Virginia
a walking tour in the Look Up, America series from walkthetown.com
by Doug Gelbert
published by Cruden Bay Books at Smashwords
Copyright 2010 by Cruden Bay Books
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the Publisher.
The Manassas Gap and the Orange and Alexandria railroads crossed in Manassas, a surveyor’s decision in the 1850s that transformed this small farming community into one of America’s best known towns in the Civil War. In an attempt to control that railroad junction the Northern and Southern armies clashed twice in the first two years of the war five miles north of town near a creek called Bull Run, resulting in 30,000 casualties.
On July 21, 1861, the Civil War was expected to end. The fully equipped Union army under General Irvin McDowell was prepared to take the field for the first time at Bull Run. The complete submission of the rebels was considered such a certainty that the Federal troops were accompanied by picnickers and sightseers. After ten hours of bloody fighting, the Union army was in retreat and it was apparent this was not going to be a one-battle war.