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

Blackburnís Ford

Guarding the Fords

 
 
Blackburn's Ford Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 6, 2007
1. Blackburn's Ford Marker
Inscription. By the early summer of 1861, Americans in both the North and South greeted the outbreak of war with patriotism and expectations of a quick decisive battle to end the conflict. In the North, the public clamored for immediate invasion to crush the rebellious South. While professional soldiers urged patience, President Lincoln, bowing to public pressure, ordered Gen. Irvin McDowell to submit a plan to advance on the important railroad junction at Manassas. On July 17, 1861, anticipating the Federal attack, Gen. Pierre G. T. Beauregard ordered Confederate forces to abandon the extensive earthworks on the open plains at Centreville and withdraw behind the strong naturally wooded defensive position of the Bull Run steam. Beauregard knew the Federals would not cross Bull Run except at the fords and bridges because the river banks were steep and the approaches to other crossings impassable. The new defensive position increased the Confederate chances for victory and protected the vital railroad junction at Manassas that was used to supply and reinforce the Southern army. The first tactical use of railroads in history to deliver troops to combat occurred on July 21, 1861, at the Battle of First Manassas when three Confederate brigades (9,000 men) under the command of General Joseph E. Johnston arrived at Manassas Junction from the Shenandoah Valley.
Close Up View of the Map image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 2, 2007
2. Close Up View of the Map
Note that North is to the bottom of the map.

 
Erected by Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 38° 48.204′ N, 77° 26.977′ W. Marker is in Centreville, Virginia, in Fairfax County. Marker is on Centreville Road (Virginia Route 28), on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Off the southbound side of the road, on the north side of the bridge over Bull Run. Marker is in this post office area: Centreville VA 20121, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named Blackburnís Ford (here, next to this marker); McLean Farm (Yorkshire Plantation) (approx. 0.7 miles away); Wilmer McLeanís Yorkshire (approx. 0.7 miles away); The Centreville Confederate Military Railroad (approx. 0.7 miles away); Wilmer McLean after the Civil War (approx. ĺ mile away); Mitchellís Ford (approx. one mile away); Union Mills Historic Site (approx. 1.3 miles away); Military Railroad Terminus (approx. 1.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Centreville.
 
More about this marker. The marker displays a map of the tactical situation just before the First Battle of Manassas.
 
Also see . . .
Two Civil War Trails Markers at Blackburns Ford image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 2, 2007
3. Two Civil War Trails Markers at Blackburns Ford

1. Battle Summary for Blackburnís Ford. (Submitted on September 2, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
2. Wartime Photo of Blackburn's Ford. (Submitted on September 2, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Blackburn's Ford image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 6, 2007
4. Blackburn's Ford
This view demonstrates the natural features of terrain mentioned on the marker to good effect. Any Federal force must descend the banks in the foreground, cross the Bull Run, then scale the opposite bank. And this was one of the easy crossing points.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 2, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 3,057 times since then and 111 times this year. Last updated on May 22, 2011. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 2, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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