“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Manassas in Prince William County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

Matthews Hill

First Taste of Combat


—First Battle of Manassas —

Matthews Hill Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 4, 2008
1. Matthews Hill Marker
Inscription. Officers were trying to hurry the long Union column down the road past Matthews Hill. (McDowell's flanking plan depended on speed and surprise.) Suddenly there was a rattle of musketry ahead. Like a nightmare in sunlight, men stumbled out of the dense smoke, horribly wounded. Two men rushed past carrying Colonel Slocum.

As Union infantry and artillery pushed forward, they could hear the enemy starting to charge upslope. In the distance ahead, near Henry House, Confederate reinforcements were coming into view. The chance for surprise was gone.
Location. 38° 49.476′ N, 77° 31.934′ W. Marker is near Manassas, Virginia, in Prince William County. Marker is on Sudley Road (State Road 234) half a mile north of Lee Highway (U.S. 29), on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Located in the Manassas National Battlefield Park, along the Matthews Hill trail. 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. Vision of Victory (here, next to this marker); Rhode Island Battery (within shouting distance of this marker); Blocking the Union Advance (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); 2nd Rhode Island Infantry
Matthews Hill Trail Map image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 4, 2008
2. Matthews Hill Trail Map
(about 700 feet away); 4th Alabama Infantry (about 700 feet away); First Contact (approx. 0.2 miles away); U.S. Infantry Battalion (approx. 0.2 miles away); Federal Artillery Positions (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Manassas.
More about this marker. A drawing in the upper right of the marker depicts Col. John Slocum, commander of the 2nd Rhode Island Infantry, died that day - one of many killed on Matthews Hill. On the lower right is a map showing the Matthews Hill trail, with the caption Fifty yards downslope an exhibit gives the Confederate view of the fighting. By continuing on the 3/4 mile loop trail you can walk the entire Union and Confederate battle lines on Matthews Hill, and read the words of the combatants on troop location markers. Hiking time is approximately 40 minutes.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Virtual Tour by Markers of the Matthews Hill Loop Trail
Also see . . .  First Manassas. Guided tour of the First Manassas Battlefield from the Army Center
Matthews Hill Markers image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 4, 2008
3. Matthews Hill Markers
On the left is the Matthews Hill marker. On the right is the Vision of Victory marker. The white panel beyond the markers is a temporary informational sign detailing a project to restore historic woodlines.
of Military History. (Submitted on June 16, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
Categories. War, US Civil
Federal Lines image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 6, 2007
4. Federal Lines
Looking from the cannon representing the Rhode Island Battery on Matthews Hill. Here Federals in Burnside's Brigade engaged Confederates in Evans' Brigade. The Confederates attacked up hill from the low ground in front of the guns.
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,333 times since then and 168 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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