The First Bull Run battlefield is part of Manassas National Battlefield Park, located north of Manassas in Prince William County, Virginia. Fought July 21, 1861, the First Battle of Bull Run (First Manassas) pitted Confederate Brig. Gen. P. G. T. Beauregard’s Army of the Potomac and Brig. Gen. Joseph E. Johnston’s Army of the Shenandoah, against Union Brig. Gen. Irvin McDowell’s Army of Northeastern Virginia in the American Civil War. The battle resulted in approximately 4,700 total casualties.
The Battle of Bull Run was almost a minor skirmish compared to later engagements, but it was the first major battle of the war. Both sides believed they would achieve an easy victory. In the end, the Union army was routed from the field.
The battlefield centers on Henry House Hill, where the thickest fighting occurred. Here, as the Confederates began to waver, a brigade led by Thomas J. Jackson arrived on the field just in time. He earned the nickname “Stonewall” for stopping the Union assault and helping to turn the tide.
A one-mile self-guided walking loop trail takes you to important locations around the battlefield. A Henry Hill walking tour leaves from behind the Henry Hill Visitor Center daily at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. during spring and summer.
The earliest Civil War monument, made of red brick and artillery shells, sits near the reconstructed Henry House. Union soldiers erected the monument in 1865.
Manassas National Battlefield Park is open daily from dawn to dusk. The Henry Hill Visitor Center is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas day. Pets are allowed in the park and on the hiking trails but must be kept on a leash at all times.
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