The War in my Back Yard: First and Second Manassas

Living in Gainesville, Virginia near Lee Highway brings home the fact that the Civil War passed through here several times.

One particularly peculiar fact is that at both battles of Manassas, it was the movement of Confederate troops from Thoroughfare Gap, through Gainesville/Haymarket, and on to the area around Henry Hill which was crucial to Union defeats.

At First Manassas it was the transport, by rail for the first time in the war, of Joe Johnston’s troops which allowed him to hit McDowell at a critical time.   At Second Manassas it was Longstreet’s troops, the ones about whom Pope was notified several times but refused to believe existed, who smashed into the Union left and nearly destroyed Pope’s army.

Below are pictures of 1) a placard describing those two and other troop movements,  2) a placard in Centreville summarizing First Manassas,  and 3) the monument where Lee, Longstreet, and Jackson met to plan the final assault at Second Manassas

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Lee, Longstreet, and Jackson Meeting Marker

Author: geneofva

Author of "Citizen-General: Jacob Dolson Cox and the Civil War Era," and of the upcoming "Lincoln, Antietam, and a Northern Lost Cause."

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