“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. Marker has been reported missing. It was located near 38° 49.476′ N, 77° 31.934′ W. Marker was near Manassas, Virginia, in Prince William County. Marker was on Sudley Road (U.S. 234) half a mile north of Lee Highway (Route 29), on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Located in the Manassas National Battlefield Park, along the Matthews Hill trail. Marker was 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 location. Vision of Victory (was here, next to this marker but has been reported missing. ); The Fight for Matthews Hill (within shouting distance of this marker); 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, measured in a direct line); 4th Alabama Infantry (about 700 feet away); The Matthew Farm (about 800 feet away); First Contact (approx. 0.2 miles away); U.S. Infantry Battalion (approx. 0.2 miles away); Federal Artillery Positions (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map 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 . . .
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.
 First Manassas. Guided tour of the First Manassas Battlefield from the Army Center 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 was last revised on February 20, 2017. This page originally submitted on June 16, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,527 times since then and 34 times this year. Last updated on February 19, 2017, by Shane Oliver of Richmond, Virginia. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on June 16, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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