Near Broad Run in Prince William County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
A “Dark, Gloomy Cleft”
—Mosby’s Confederacy and Second Manassas Campaign —
Chapman’s Mill (now Beverley’s Mill), located directly across I-66, also played a role in the August 1862 action and in subsequent skirmishes. Built in 1759 and enlarged to five stories in 1858, its upper floor windows were used by sharpshooters from both sides to attack or defend the pass. The mill survived the 1862 action with only minor damage but by 1864 it was little more than a shell. Mill owner John Chapman filed
Sidebar under picture: A view of the gap, looking west, as it appeared in the late 1800s with the mill in the clef, the original farm-to-market road through the gap on the left and the rail line on the right. (Photo courtesy of the Manassas National Battlefield Park)
Sidebar under map: Map courtesy of Terrence Haney, Cartographer, and Civil War, The Magazine of the Civil War Society, Berryville, Virginia.
Erected by Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 38° 49.411′ N, 77° 42.653′ W. Marker is near Broad Run, Virginia, in Prince William County. Marker is at the intersection of John Marshall Highway (Virginia Route 55) and Beverleys Mill Road, on the right when traveling west on John Marshall Highway. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Broad Run VA 20137, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. Campaign of Second Manassas (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Thoroughfare Gap (here, next to this marker); Chapman's Mill (approx. ¼ mile away); Free People Of Color At Thoroughfare (approx. 1.9 miles away); Antioch Church (approx. 2.8 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Broad Run.
Also see . . . Culpeper National Cemetery. Union soldiers from the Thoroughfare Gap fighting are interred here.
1. Chapmans Mill
This place is of interest to me as my great great-uncle John Berry was killed here serving in the 11th Pa. on August 28th, 1862. I plan on spending some time looking around when I can get down there.
I am a reenactor in the 5th Va. Co. H. Thanks for the information I have seen on this site.
Are there any Union grave sites in the area? From what I have studied not many soldiers were removed from the battlefield that day.
2. Thoroughfare Gap Union Grave Sites
I could not locate any reference to existing grave sites at Thoroughfare Gap. Most likely the solders who were buried at the Gap immediately following the fighting were reintered at Culpeper National Cemetery. That cemetery was established in 1867 for the purpose of consolidating the Union dead scattered about Northern and Central Virginia. More details on that cemetery are at the “Also See” link No. 1 on this page.
Since the bulk of the fighting at Thoroughfare Gap, and in particular the 11th PA’s fighting, occurred right where modern I-66 runs, much of the original lay of the land has been disturbed when the highway was built and enlarged.
3. Quarry Trench
Transcription of text on interpretative sign on photo No. 4
This site is the remnant of a quarry from which masons extracted most or all of the quartzite used to build Chapmen’s Mill and Meadowland, the Chapman family home (both along the Mill Trail, to the south).
On August 28, 1862, this trench and the surrounding woods were filled with bullets as fierce battle blazed between Union and Confederate forces. At one point in the battle, the 11th Pennsylvania positioned itself on this side of the trench against the 1st Georgia on the other, and they fired at each other from point-blank range.
It became known as the Battle of Thoroughfare Gap, and it proved strategically important to the Second Battle of Manassas (August 28-30, 1862). Union troops under General Ricketts were attempting to delay Lee and Longstreet’s passage through the gap long enough to destroy Stonewall Jackson’s troops near Manassas. Although the Confederates were slowed by the fighting here, they routed the Union troops and moved on to join Jackson, uniting the Army of Northern Virginia. Historians say that had Ricketts prevailed, the Second Battle of Manassas would never have taken place.
Categories. • Notable Buildings • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page originally submitted on October 13, 2006, by Roger Dean Meyer of Yankton, South Dakota. This page has been viewed 4,175 times since then. Photos: 1. submitted on October 13, 2006, by Roger Dean Meyer of Yankton, South Dakota. 2, 3. submitted on June 6, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 4, 5. submitted on December 1, 2008. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.