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

The Marines of ‘61

 
 
The Marines of '61 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Shane Oliver, September 26, 2015
1. The Marines of '61 Marker
Inscription. To support the advance into Virginia, the Navy Department detailed a battalion of U.S. Marines for temporary field service with Brig. Gen. Irvin McDowell's Union army. The Marine Commandant, Col. John Harris, expressed misgivings about the inexperience of his available force. Of the 350 Marines then training at the Marine Barracks in Washington, D.C. most were raw recruits with less than three weeks' service.

During the fight for Henry Hill, the Marines supported the batteries of Captains Charles Griffin and James Ricketts. The battalion endured a galling fire from the opposing Confederate artillery, forcing them to the ground for protection. Union troops soon fell back in disorder. After regrouping near the Stone House, the Marines participated in two subsequent attempts to recapture the plateau. Although both attacks failed, the conduct of the Marines at First Manassas received praise from Union and Confederate soldiers alike.

(Captions on Right):
Maj. John B. Reynolds, a veteran of both the Seminole and Mexican Wars, commanded the U.S. Marine Battalion at First Manassas.

2nd Lt. Robert E. Hitchcock was the first Marine Corps officer killed in the Civil War, struck down by Confederate artillery fire on Henry Hill.

(Captions at Bottom):
"The green pines were filled with
The Marines of '61 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Stephen Santelli, July 17, 2011
2. The Marines of '61 Marker
View looking Southeast with Henry House in the background.
79th Highlanders and the red-breeched Brookly Zouaves, but the only men that were killed and wounded twenty to thrity yards behind and in the rear of our lines were the United States Marines."
-Surgeon Daniel M. Conrad, 2nd Virginia
 
Erected 2011 by National Park Service.
 
Location. 38° 48.918′ N, 77° 31.375′ W. Marker is in Manassas, Virginia. Marker can be reached from Sudley Road (State Highway 234) 0.4 miles south of Lee Highway (U.S. 29), on the right when traveling north. Click for map. The marker on the Henry House Hill trail, which starts at the Manassas National Battlefield Park visitor center. Marker is in this post office area: Manassas VA 20109, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Colonel Cameron (within shouting distance of this marker); The Grave of Our Dear Mother, Judith Henry (within shouting distance of this marker); Invaded Farmland (within shouting distance of this marker but has been reported missing); a different marker also named Invaded Farmland (within shouting distance of this marker); Honoring the Dead (within shouting distance of this marker); a different
The Marines of '61 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Stephen Santelli, July 17, 2011
3. The Marines of '61 Marker
View of marker looking north along walking trail.
marker also named Honoring the Dead (within shouting distance of this marker but has been reported missing); Wade Hampton (within shouting distance of this marker); Lieutenant Ramsey (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line). Click for a list of all markers in Manassas.
 
Regarding The Marines of '61. Harris reported to Navy Secretary Nathan Gideon Welles after the fighting that this was "the first instance in Marine history where any portion of its members turned their backs to the enemy."
 
Also see . . .  Video - - Dedication of Marker ::. (Submitted on August 15, 2011.)
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Stephen Santelli of Morgantown, West Virginia. This page has been viewed 670 times since then and 17 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Shane Oliver of Richmond, Virginia.   2, 3. submitted on , by Stephen Santelli of Morgantown, West Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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