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

Defeat and Disarray

First Battle of Manassas


—July 21, 1861 5 p.m. —

Defeat and Disarray Marker image. Click for full size.
By Shane Oliver, September 26, 2015
1. Defeat and Disarray Marker
Inscription. By day's end the Confederates held Henry Hill, capturing eight of the eleven Union cannon brought atop this plateau. Rebel reinforcements extended the battle lines across Sudley Road to neighboring Chinn Ridge (one-half mile ahead of you). Federal troops were driven back after a brief fight, the final combat of the day (a separate exhibit on Chinn Ridge discusses this action).

The Federal army fled back across Bull Run with Confederate cavalry in pursuit. The retreat, at first orderly, soon dissolved into a rout. Panic seized the troops as they came under artillery fire, and civilian spectators were caught up underfoot in the stampede back to the capital.

The battle's carnage shocked the country. More than 5,000 Americans were casualties — nearly 900 of whom were dead. It was the largest battle in the nation's history to that time. Thirteen months later the armies returned and fought again at the Second Battle of Manassas (August 28-30, 1862). The park's self-guided driving tour provides an overview of this larger battle and its significance during the Civil War.

Retreat of the Federal army toward Centreville.
Erected by Manassas National Battlefield Park, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
Defeat and Disarray Marker and Final Struggle Marker image. Click for full size.
By Samuel Paik, September 18, 2017
2. Defeat and Disarray Marker and Final Struggle Marker
The Henry Hill Visitor Center and the western edge of the parking lot are in the distance.
38° 48.717′ N, 77° 31.299′ W. Marker is in Manassas, Virginia, in Prince William County. Marker can be reached from Sudley Road (Virginia Route 234) half a mile south of Lee Highway (U.S. 29), on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is located behind the Visitor Center at the trailhead for the 1.1-mile Henry Hill trail. Marker is at or near this postal address: 6511 Sudley Road, Manassas VA 20109, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Final Struggle (here, next to this marker); Point Blank Volley (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Colonel Thomas (about 500 feet away); Henry Hill (about 600 feet away); Lieutenant William P. Mangum (about 600 feet away); General Barnard Elliott Bee (about 700 feet away); Artillery Duel (about 700 feet away); Turning the Tide (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Manassas.
Also see . . .  Manassas National Battlefield Park. National Park Service (Submitted on October 1, 2015.) 
Categories. MilitaryWar, US Civil
Credits. This page was last revised on September 19, 2017. This page originally submitted on September 30, 2015, by Shane Oliver of Richmond, Virginia. This page has been viewed 299 times since then and 31 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on September 30, 2015, by Shane Oliver of Richmond, Virginia.   2. submitted on September 18, 2017, by Samuel Paik of Gainesville, Virginia. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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