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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Centreville in Fairfax County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
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Retreat From Manassas

Panic at Cub Run Bridge

 
 
Retreat From Manassas Marker image. Click for full size.
July 27, 2014
1. Retreat From Manassas Marker
Inscription.  Following the disastrous defeat at the First Battle of Manassas on July 21, 1861, the Union army retreated toward Centreville late in the afternoon with Confederate forces in pursuit. Thousands of Federal soldiers converged simultaneously at the narrow Cub Run suspension bridge, which was located near where the present-day Lee Highway bridge spans the stream.

Confederate Capt. Delaware Kemper, Alexandria Light Artillery, deployed two guns in the turnpike on the hill less than a mile west of the bridge. The first shot, fired by ardent secessionist Edmund Ruffin, caused a wagon to overturn and block the bridge. With a well-directed barrage raining down on the bridge, the Federals fled in panic, throwing away weapons and haversacks, as well as anything else that slowed them down. Unable to ford the stream, they also abandoned wagons, ambulances, and artillery pieces.

While pursuing the Union army, the 8th South Carolina Infantry captured U.S. Congressman Alfred Ely (N.Y.) who along with many northern politicians and Washington, D.C., residents had journeyed out to watch what they confidently believed would be the Union victory
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that would end the war. Most of the civilians observed the battle from Centreville Heights, but a small number of politicians and newspapermen ventured beyond Cub Run to the vicinity of the field hospital at Mrs. Spindle’s house. In the race for safety, they abandoned their carriages at Cub Run, further clogging the road, impeding the retreat, and adding to the panic.
 
Erected 2014 by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical month for this entry is July 1996.
 
Location. This marker has been replaced by another marker nearby. It was located near 38° 50.014′ N, 77° 27.781′ W. Marker was in Centreville, Virginia, in Fairfax County. Marker could be reached from U.S. 29 west of Prince Way, on the right when traveling south. Marker is located at a trailhead to the Cub Run Stream Valley trail. Parking along London Towne Square is convenient. Touch for map. Marker was in this post office area: Centreville VA 20120, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this location, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named Retreat From Manassas (here, next to this marker); First Battle of Manassas (within shouting distance of this marker);
Retreat From Manassas Marker image. Click for full size.
June 14, 2014
2. Retreat From Manassas Marker
Looking west across Cub Run River.
Lane's Mill and Newton's Mill Ruins (approx. 0.4 miles away); Battery Ridge (approx. one mile away); Campaign of Second Manassas (approx. 1.2 miles away); Confederate Defenses (approx. 1.2 miles away); Second Battle of Manassas (approx. 1.2 miles away); a different marker also named First Battle of Manassas (approx. 1.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Centreville.
 
More about this marker. The marker displays one map captioned “Battles of Bull Run near Manassas, 1861-1862” Courtesy National Archives & Records Administration and three photos captioned Congressman Alfred Ely Courtesy Library of Congress, Destroyed Cub Run Bridge, March, 1862 – Courtesy Library of Congress, and Mrs. Spindle’s house, located on the north side of the road just east of present-day Bull Run Post Office Road, March, 1862 – Courtesy Library of Congress
 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. New Marker At This Location also titled "Retreat From Manassas".
Cub Run River image. Click for full size.
March 4, 2006
3. Cub Run River
Near modern bridge.

 
Also see . . .  War Watchers at Bull Run During America's Civil War. Originally published by Civil War Times magazine. Published Online: June 12, 2006 (Submitted on July 27, 2014.) 
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 2, 2023. It was originally submitted on July 27, 2014. This page has been viewed 1,019 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on July 27, 2014. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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