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Manassas, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Mayfield Civil War Fort

Fortifying the Junction

 

—The Manassas Museum System —

 
Mayfield Civil War Fort Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 2, 2007
1. Mayfield Civil War Fort Marker
Inscription. Following Virginia’s decision to secede from the Union in in April 1861, Southern troops began arriving here at the small village of Tudor Hall, which soon came to be known as Manassas Junction. This place, where the Orange & Alexandria and Manassas Gap railroads intersected, was quickly transformed from a quiet farming community into a military stronghold. Some 20,000 new recruits poured in from across Virginia and other Southern states.

Confederate leaders recognized the importance of holding Manassas Junction against an assault by Union forces. Possession of the junction meant control of the only continuous rail link between Washington, D.C. and the Confederate capital, Richmond, as well as the connection to the agricultural bounty of the Shenandoah Valley.

In June 1861, Confederate Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard took command of the troops defending Manassas. Seeking to utilize all available resources, he issued a proclamation to the people of Loudoun, Fairfax, and Prince William counties calling on them to contribute to the military preparations.

Some of the resources were human. Slaves from area farmers were sent to work alongside Confederate soldiers to construct a ring of defensive works around the Junction.

“We are expecting an attack every day on the Junction; ordered hands out to assist in throwing
The Proclamation image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 2, 2007
2. The Proclamation
To the good People of the Counties of Loudoun, Fairfax, and Prince William:

A reckless and unprincipled tyrant has invaded your soil. Abraham Lincoln, regardless of all moral, legal, and constitutional restraints, has thrown his abolition hosts among you, who are murdering and imprisoning your citizens, confiscating and destroying your property, and committing other acts of violence and outrage too shocking and revolting to humanity to be enumerated. All rules of civilized warfare are abandoned, and they proclaim by their acts, if not on their banners, that their war-cry is "Beauty and Booty." All that is dear to man,—your honor and that of your wives and daughters,—your fortunes and your lives, are involved in this momentous contest.

In the name therefore, of the constituted authorities of the Confederate State—in the sacred cause of constitutional liberty and self-government, for which we are intending—in behalf of civilization and humanity itself, I, G.T. BEAUREGARD, Brigadier General of the Confederate States, commanding at Camp Pickens, Manassas Junction, do make this my Proclamation and invite and enjoin you, by every consideration dear to the hearts of freemen and patriots, by the name and memory of your Revolutionary fathers, and by the parity and sanctity of your domestic firesides, to rally to the standard of your State and country, and by every means in your power compatible with honorable warfare, to drive back and expel the invaders from your land. I conjure you to be true and loyal to your country and her legal and constitutional authorities, and especially to be vigilant of the movements and acts of the enemy, so as to enable you to give the earliest authentic information at these Head Quarters, or to the officers under my command.

I desire to assure you that the utmost protection in my power will be extended to you all.

G. T. Beauregard, Brigadier-General Commanding.
up a breast-work. Jack and our hands with others from the neighborhood start in the morning bright and early.”


Diary entry of Amanda Virginia Edmonds of Fauquier County, Va., June 6, 1861.
 
Erected by Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 38° 45.266′ N, 77° 27.126′ W. Marker is in Manassas, Virginia. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Battery Heights Boulevard and Quarry Road, on the left when traveling south. Click for map. Located on the trail path into Mayfield Fort, on the outer embankments of the fort, about 300 feet from the parking lot. Marker is in this post office area: Manassas VA 20110, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Mayfield Civil War Fort (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Mayfield Civil War Fort (about 300 feet away); a different marker also named Mayfield Civil War Fort (about 300 feet away); a different marker also named Mayfield Civil War Fort (about 300 feet away); a different marker also named Mayfield Civil War Fort
Marker Posted along the Trail up to Mayfield Fort image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 2, 2007
3. Marker Posted along the Trail up to Mayfield Fort
(about 400 feet away); a different marker also named Mayfield Civil War Fort (about 500 feet away); a different marker also named Mayfield Civil War Fort (about 600 feet away); a different marker also named Mayfield Civil War Fort (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Manassas.
 
More about this marker. On the left side of the marker is a drawing captioned, “Confederate soldiers and slave labor were used to dig the trenches and construct the earthworks surrounding the junction.” On the right side is a facsimile of Gen. Beauregard’s request to citizens, “This proclamation of June 5, 1861, from P.G.T. Beauregard, was a rally cry to the civilian population for the support of the Southern military operations at Manassas Junction.”
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. To better understand the relationship, study each marker in the order shown.
 
Also see . . .
1. Mayfield Civil War Fort. (Submitted on September 8, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
2. Washington at the Time of the First Bull Run. by Arba N. Waterman, Lieutenant Colonel, 100th Illinois Infantry. Some background information concerning the operations leading up to the battle, including a discussion of Beauregard's proclaimation. (Submitted on September 8, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,702 times since then and 2 times this year. Last updated on , by Jonathan Carruthers of Bealeton, Virginia. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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