Sep 20

On August 31, 1940, World War II was almost one year old (September 1, 1939 Germany invaded Poland). At Manassas, Virginia, approximately 1500 attendees heard speeches at the unveiling of the monument to Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson, which is underneath the covering in the right background. The speaker is Virginia Governor James Hubert Price (1878-1943). This image, courtesy of the National Park Service and Center for Civil War Photography, which has more than 1,000 historic Gettysburg Park images like these on their Flickr, was taken facing northwest on Saturday, August 31, 1940.

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

In the sixth First Manassas 150th Anniversary post we found the base to the first monument to Colonel Francis Bartow. Dedicated on September 4, 1861, Bartow’s monument was probably the first Civil War monument.

In the seventh First Manassas 150th Anniversary post we actually came back ten days after the anniversary to look for the marker to the fifth position of the 7th Georgia Infantry Regiment.

In today’s First Manassas 150th Anniversary post we visit the monument to Confederate Brigadier General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson, which was dedicated in 1940.

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.

The idea for a Stonewall Jackson monument at Manassas was seriously talked about during the 75th anniversary of the Battle of First Manassas in 1936. In 1938, the Virginia legislature appropriated $25,000 towards its construction. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 8:30 PM on Thursday, July 21, 2011.

The monument was placed on the ridge, approximately 150 yards west of where Jackson located his brigade during the Battle of First Manassas. The statue was oriented to face the Henry House (out of sight on the right). At the same time, the National Park Service selected a site on this ridge for their new museum/visitors center, and oriented the visitors center so that visitors “would have a clear view of the Jackson statue from the museum’s observation terrace.” The Visitors Center/Museum (construction on which began in 1941) is in the right background, just to the right of the statue. This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 8:30 PM on Thursday, July 21, 2011.

The State of Virginia chose the sculptor, the Italian born Joseph Pollia and his design. Pollia, had previously sculpted a Spanish-American War memorial on Cuba’s San Juan Hill, and a statue of United States General Philip Sheridan in New York City’s Sheridan Square. He would also sculpt a couple of versions of World War I doughboys. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 8:30 PM on Thursday, July 21, 2011.

Controversy almost immediately arose over Pollia’s first design of the statue. The criticism, which some have dubbed, “The Third Battle of Manassas,” included many thinking that Jackson’s prize mount, Little Sorrel, looked like a common plow horse. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 8:30 PM on Thursday, July 21, 2011.

Others stated that Pollia’s version of Jackson looked more like United States General Ulysses S. Grant than Confederate General Stonewall Jackson. Pollia changed his design of the horse and rider. Some today, noting the heroic physical features of the horse and rider have dubbed the work, “Stonewall on Steroids.” This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 8:30 PM on Thursday, July 21, 2011.

The casting of the statue was at the Bedy-Rassi Foundry in New York City, and the statue was brought by truck to the battlefield. It arrived on July 14, 1940. The sculptor depicted Jackson at a 1:1.5 scale. The polished black granite base is 10 feet wide and six feet tall. Flagstone pavers surround the base of the monument. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 8:30 PM on Thursday, July 21, 2011.

The words of Confederate Brigadier General Barnard Bee, “There stands Jackson like a stone wall, rally behind the Virginians,” is partially memorialized on the statue. Some at the dedication ceremonies in 1940, who thought we might eventually enter World War II felt that “the stalwart Jackson in the saddle projected the same strength and determination that Americans needed in the current perilous affairs.” This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 8:30 PM on Thursday, July 21, 2011.

When historian and Richmond newspaper editor, Douglass Southall Freeman spoke at the monument’s dedication, he reminded the crowd that “Jackson’s use of discipline and vigorous training … would serve current military commanders well.” This image, courtesy of the National Park Service and the Center for Civil War Photography, which has more than 1,000 historic Gettysburg Park images like these on their Flickr, was taken facing northwest on Saturday, August 31, 1940.

The Stonewall Jackson statue would be covered up at least one more time. For the reenactment at the 100th anniversary of the First Battle of Manassas, on July 21, 1961, the Visitors Center in the right background was camouflaged. The Jackson statue is in the process of being camouflaged. The National Park Service person in the foreground is the superintendent of Manassas National Battlefield, Francis Wilshin, who served as superintendent from 1955 to 1969. This image, courtesy of the National Park Service and the Center for Civil War Photography, which has more than 1,000 historic Gettysburg Park images like these on their Flickr, was taken facing southwest circa Thursday July 20, 2011.

Let’s show you how well the camouflaging of the statue worked during the 1961 reenactment. Here the cannon were placed on the line where it was incorrectly thought Jackson’s artillery had fought on July 21, 1861 (the line was actually 150 yards to the left or west). But with all the smoke, you can’t see the statue. This image, courtesy of the National Park Service and the Center for Civil War Photography, which has more than 1,000 historic Gettysburg Park images like these on their Flickr, was taken facing southwest on Friday, July 21, 1961.

Now that the smoke has cleared away in the background, you can see the camouflaged statue in the right background. This image, courtesy of the National Park Service and the Center for Civil War Photography, which has more than 1,000 historic Gettysburg Park images like these on their Flickr, was taken facing southwest on Friday, July 21, 1961.
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.
We feel the best picture book on the Battle of First Manassas is Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Gary Adelman’s book, Manassas Battlefields Then and Now. You can order it from the CCWP by clicking here. This image was scanned facing north at approximately 3:40 PM on Sunday, September 18, 2011.


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