Aug 29

Thomas J. soon to be “Stonewall” Jackson with his brigade at the edge of the pine woods on Henry Hill, July 21, 1861 during the First Battle of Manassas. This painting was oriented to the east and is courtesy of the National Park Service.

The Gettysburg Daily decided on Thursday, July 21, 2011 that after finishing their tours at Gettysburg to drive to Manassas. The goal was to stand on the ground on the 150th anniversary of the Battle of First Manassas, to document the scene, and to avoid the crowds.

In the first Manassas 150th Anniversary post we showed the structures that were put in place for the commemoration ceremonies of the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of First Manassas (First Bull Run).

In the second First Manassas 150th Anniversary post we concentrated on the material around the Henry House on Henry Hill, including tents, equipment, and artillery pieces.

In the third First Manassas 150th Anniversary post we feature the Stone House or Matthews’ House. We were fortunate to have been allowed in the house that evening.

In the fourth First Manassas 150th Anniversary post we walk back up Henry Hill towards the foundation of the James Robinson House Wade Hampton’s South Carolinians made a stand in Robinson’s Lane.

In today’s First Manassas 150th Anniversary post we walk from the James Robinson House to Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s artillery line at the edge of the woods on Henry Hill.

This is the National Park Service Map of Manassas National Battlefield. Most of the map shows areas concerning the Second Battle of Manassas, which was fought from August 28-30, 1862. Today, we are concerned about the First Battle of Manassas, which was fought on July 21, 1861. This final stages of the battle centered around the Henry Hill area, shown in the bottom right of the map. This map was scanned facing north at approximately 11:00 AM on Friday, July 22, 2011.

This is the National Park Service Map of the area around Henry Hill for the 150th anniversary period. Large tents, tractor trailers, Coca Cola trucks, Pepsi trucks, food stands, etc… dot the hill of the first major land battle of the American Civil War. So if you had thoughts of going to the battlefield and to be transported back in time 150 years ago, that was difficult. This map was scanned facing north at approximately 11:00 AM on Friday, July 22, 2011.

We’re leaving the area of the James Robinson House and walking towards Jackson’s artillery line which is located near the white tent in the center background. This view was taken facing south at approximately 8:30 PM on Thursday, July 21, 2011.

Confederates under Nathan G. “Shanks” Evans, Francis Bartow, and Barnard Bee retreated from right to left after being driven from Matthews’ Hill. Jackson’s Virginia Brigade was in the woods to the left facing to the right (west). This view was taken facing south at approximately 8:30 PM on Thursday, July 21, 2011.

Notice how the rolling terrain now hides the position of Jackson’s line. This view was taken facing south at approximately 8:30 PM on Thursday, July 21, 2011.

The artillery position, and the position of some of Jackson’s Infantry Regiment behind the artillery, and near the woods are now visible again. This view was taken facing south at approximately 8:30 PM on Thursday, July 21, 2011.

Pausing at the wayside, we see the visitor center complex and its tents in the left background, and the Henry House in the right background. This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 8:30 PM on Thursday, July 21, 2011.

We are now looking back towards the Robinson House site. This view was taken facing north at approximately 8:30 PM on Thursday, July 21, 2011.

A closer view of the wayside. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 8:30 PM on Thursday, July 21, 2011.

Generals Beauregard and Joseph Johnston did rally soldiers from Bee’s, Bartow’s, and Evans Brigades in this area. That could be the Robinson Farm complex in the background. While Johnston is talking with Georgia soldiers from Bartow’s Brigade in this image, he would later grab the flag of the 4th Alabama and lead them into battle. This view was taken facing north circa the 1880s for the Battles and Leaders series.

This image is to give you an idea of how far we were from the Henry Hill complex. This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 8:30 PM on Thursday, July 21, 2011.

Jackson’s infantry brigade protected the right flank (closest tot he camera) of the artillery pieces located here during the battle, in reserve, and protected the left flank of this artillery line. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 8:30 PM on Thursday, July 21, 2011.

There were approximately 13 artillery pieces located here during the battle… This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 8:30 PM on Thursday, July 21, 2011.

… and most of them were six-pounders. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 8:30 PM on Thursday, July 21, 2011.

Confederate Pierre Goustave Toutant Beauregard described Jackson’s artillery line in his official report: “The ground occupied by our guns, on a level with that held by the batteries of the enemy, was an open space of limited extent, behind a low undulation just at the eastern verge of the plateau, some five or six hundred yards from the Henry house.” This view was taken facing west at approximately 8:30 PM on Thursday, July 21, 2011.

A closer view of the wayside describing the Virginia artillery pieces that made up this part of the line. This view was taken facing west at approximately 8:30 PM on Thursday, July 21, 2011.

The wayside closer to the camera gives one a better idea of why this was chosen to be a position for artillery. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 8:30 PM on Thursday, July 21, 2011.

The artillery position was located along a farm road. This view was taken facing west at approximately 8:30 PM on Thursday, July 21, 2011.

We’ll continue farther down the line. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 8:30 PM on Thursday, July 21, 2011.

Stonewall Jackson did not go into much detail about the Battle of First Manassas. He did say this about the artillery: “…nobly did the artillery maintain its position for hours against the enemy’s advancing thousands. Great praise is due to Colonel (William Nelson) Pendleton and the other officers and men.” This view was taken facing south at approximately 8:30 PM on Thursday, July 21, 2011.

Jackson’s position of infantry and artillery led to his nickname because of the “Stone Wall” that was formed here. This view was taken facing west at approximately 8:30 PM on Thursday, July 21, 2011.

A closer view of the “Stone Wall” wayside. This view was taken facing west at approximately 8:30 PM on Thursday, July 21, 2011.
We’ll continue down the artillery line. This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 8:30 PM on Thursday, July 21, 2011.

Jackson’s artillery line didn’t consist of only Virginia units. The Visitor Center and tents are in the left and center background. The Stonewall Jackson statue is in the right background.This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 8:30 PM on Thursday, July 21, 2011.

The Washington Artillery brought some rifled pieces to the battlefield. This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 8:30 PM on Thursday, July 21, 2011.

It was getting late by this point. The Stonewall Jackson statue is in the left background. The Henry House is in the right background. This view was taken facing west at approximately 8:30 PM on Thursday, July 21, 2011.
We feel the best book on the Battle of First Manassas is John Hennessy’s book, First Battle of Manassas: An End to Innocence. It is part of the Virginia Civil War Battles and Leaders Series by H.E. Howard. This image was scanned facing north at approximately 7:40 PM on Sunday, August 7, 2011.


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