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Near Manassas in Prince William County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

“The Very Vortex of Hell”

Second Battle of Manassas

 

—Day Three - August 30, 1862 - 4:15 p.m. —

 
"The Very Vortex of Hell" Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 4, 2012
1. "The Very Vortex of Hell" Marker
Inscription. From their position atop this ridge, the soldiers of the 5th New York Infantry listened to the crash of battle. It appeared the regiment had escaped combat that day. Most of the fighting raged one mile to the north near Deep Cut. Around 4 p.m. an ominous silence took hold. Much of the distant firing had stopped. Suddenly a violent burst of musketry pierced the stillness. Terrified Union skirmishers came running out of the woods, followed by a tremendous crashing of brush and leaves - the sound of a large army approaching.

The 5th New York hurried to form a battle line along the crest of this slope. By then, thousands of Confederates were at the edge of the trees firing volley after volley. The New Yorkers were overrun in less than ten minutes. The unit sustained 123 men killed or mortally wounded - the greatest loss of life in any Union infantry regiment in any single action of the war. Remembering the one-sided slaughter, a veteran compared it to "the very vortex of Hell."

The grassy slope behind you, covered with the colorful red and blue uniforms of fallen Zouaves, reminded one Southerner of a field of Texas wildflowers.
 
Erected by Manassas National Battlefield Park - National Park Service - Department of the Interior.
 
Location.
"The Very Vortex of Hell" Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 4, 2012
2. "The Very Vortex of Hell" Marker
38° 48.606′ N, 77° 32.644′ W. Marker is near Manassas, Virginia, in Prince William County. Marker is at the intersection of New York Avenue and Lee Highway (U.S. 29), on the right when traveling north on New York Avenue. Click for map. 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. 10th New York Vol. Infantry (within shouting distance of this marker); 5th Regiment New York Volunteer Infantry (within shouting distance of this marker); Confederate Counterattack (within shouting distance of this marker); Twilight Clash (approx. 0.2 miles away); Brooklyn Fourteenth (approx. ¼ mile away); Federal Artillery Position (approx. ¼ mile away); Groveton Confederate Cemetery (approx. 0.3 miles away); Groveton – Second Battle of Bull Run (approx. 0.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Manassas.
 
Also see . . .  One-Sided Slaughter. The older marker which this one replaced. (Submitted on August 27, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Fields behind the marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 4, 2012
3. Fields behind the marker
The dead of the 5th New York covered the slopes beyond the marker.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 389 times since then and 25 times this year. 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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