A Battlefield Guide

Ethan S. Rafuse
Cartography by Erin Greb

This Hallowed Ground: Guides to Civil War Battlefields Series

274 pages
47 maps, 2 appendixes


May 2014


$21.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)

May 2014


$21.95 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)

May 2014


$21.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

This volume is the essential guide to the Manassas battlefields, site of two of the Civil War’s critical campaigns. Ethan S. Rafuse, a distinguished scholar of the Civil War, provides a clearly organized, thorough, and uniquely insightful account of both campaigns, along with expert analysis and precise directions for armchair traveler and battlefield visitor alike.

The July 1861 Battle of First Manassas and the August 1862 Battle of Second Manassas unequivocally influenced the course and outcome of the Civil War. The first battle dealt a decisive blow to hopes that the inexperienced armies of the North and the South could bring about a quick military resolution of the secession crisis. The second battle was the climactic engagement of a spectacular campaign that carried the war to the outskirts of Washington DC and marked the coming of age of Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. Manassas: A Battlefield Guide presents readers with a clear, convenient guide to the sites in northern and central Virginia that shaped the course and outcome of these campaigns. Lucid, concise narratives give readers a better understanding of the events that took place on these battlefields and of the terrain, personalities, and decisions that shaped them.

Author Bio

Ethan S. Rafuse is a professor of history at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and has led staff rides and tours of historic battlefields for many military and civilian groups. He is also the author of several books, including Antietam, South Mountain, and Harpers Ferry: A Battlefield Guide (Nebraska, 2008) and McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union.


"An excellent battlefield guide. . . . A must-have companion for serious students of the Civil War and casual battlefield tourists alike."—Nathan A. Marzoli, Army History Magazine

"Rafuse's Manassas ranks among the best tools for touring the Second Bull Run campaign and battlefield and for the first battle it is without peer among traditionally formatted guide books."—Civil War Books and Authors

"[Manassas] belongs in every serious visitor's knapsack."—Free Lance-Star

"Rafuse has done yeoman's work in simplifying a complicated subject for the casual tourist on a battlefield visit, the scholar conducting historical research, and the military profession on a staff ride."—Kevin Dougherty, On Point

"Ethan S. Rafuse, a distinguished scholar of the Civil War, provides a clearly organized, thorough, and uniquely insightful account of both campaigns, along with expert analysis and precise directions for armchair traveler and battlefield visitor alike."—

"As with the other guides, Manassas’s format is a model of perfection."Timothy J. Orr, Civil War Monitor

"This volume is highly recommended to all for their next battlefield trek."—Stuart McClung, Journal of America's Military Past

Table of Contents



How to Use This Guide                                                                     

First Manassas                                                                        

The Road to First Manassas                                                              

Henry Hill Visitor Center                                                                 

Overview of July 21, 1861                                                             

Stop 1             Stone Bridge                                                                                      

1a                    “The plan . . . was a good one,” July 18–21, 1861                            

1b                    A Troubled March, 2:30–9:30 a.m.                                                  

1c                    Demonstration and Crossing, 9:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.                        

Stop 2             Matthews Hill                                                                                    

2a                    Evans Battles Burnside, 9:30–10:00 a.m.                                         

2b                    “The day is ours!” 10:00–11:30 a.m.                                                

Stop 3             Stone House                                                                                       

3a                    The Federals Pause, 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.                                     

Stop 4             Henry Hill                                                                                          

4a                    Battlefield Vista                                                                                

4b                    “Like a stone wall,” 11:30 a.m.–2:00 p.m.                                       

4c                    McDowell Advances His Artillery                                                   

4d                    Griffin’s Ordeal, 2:00–2:30 p.m.                                                      

4e                    Fight for the Federal Guns, 2:30–2:45 p.m.                                     

4f                    Victory on Henry Hill, 3:00–5:00 p.m.                                             

Stop 5             Chinn Ridge                                                                                       

5a                    Howard’s Battle, 3:00–4:30 p.m.                                                      

Stop 6             Sudley Church                                                                                   

6a                    The Federal Retreat, 4:30–7:00 p.m.                                                

6b                    The Cost of the Battle                                                                       

Second Manassas                                                                 

The Road to Second Manassas                                                          

Overview of August 28, 1862                                                        

Stop 1             Brawner Farm                                                                                    

1a                    Brawner Farm Interpretive Center                                                    

1b                    Movement to Contact, August 28, 1862                                           

1c                    The Battle of Brawner Farm, 6:00–9:00 p.m.                                   

Overview of August 29, 1862                                                        

Stop 2             Unfinished Railroad                                                                          

2a                    Pope’s Plan for August 29, August 28–29, 1862                              

2b                    Sigel Attacks, 10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.                                                 

2c                    Lee and Longstreet Arrive, 10:00–12:00 p.m.                                  

2d                    The Afternoon Battle, 10:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.                                    

2e                    Kearny’s Assault, 4:30–6:30 p.m.                                                    

Stop 3             Groveton                                                                                            

3a                    Hood versus Hatch, 6:00–8:00 p.m.                                                  

Overview of August 30, 1862                                                        

Stop 4             Buck Hill                                                                                           

4a                    Waiting for Franklin, August 28–30, 1862                                       

4b                    Morning Plans, 7:00–11:30 p.m.                                                      

4c                    The Pursuit, 11:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.                                                  

Stop 5             Deep Cut                                                                                            

5a                    Porter’s Attack, 2:30–3:15 p.m.                                                        

5b                    The Deep Cut, 3:15–4:00 p.m.                                                          

Stop 6             New York Avenue                                                                             

6a                    Longstreet’s Advance, 4:00 p.m.                                                      

6b                    The 5th New York, 4:00–4:15 p.m.                                                  

6c                    Hardin and Kerns, 4:15–4:30 p.m.                                                    

Stop 7             Chinn Ridge                                                                                       

7a                    McLean’s Defense, 4:30–5:00 p.m.                                                  

7b                    Confederate Tide, 5:00–6:00 p.m.                                                    

Stop 8             Henry Hill                                                                                          

8a                    Last Line, 4:30–6:00 p.m.                                                                 

8b                    The Fight for Henry Hill, 6:00–7:00 p.m.                                        

8c                    Securing the Union Retreat, 6:00–7:00 p.m.                                    

8d                    “Another Bull Run!” 7:00 p.m., August 30–September 2, 1862      

First Manassas Campaign Excursion                                         

Stop a             Stone Bridge                                                                                      

Stop b             Fairfax Court House                                                                          

Stop c             Blackburn’s Ford                                                                               

Jackson’s Line Excursion                                                                 

Stop a             Jackson’s Arrival                                                                              

Stop b             Keyes’s Advance                                                                               

Stop c             The 33rd Virginia                                                                              

Stop d             Stuart’s Charge                                                                                 

Second Manassas Campaign Excursion                                     

Stop a             Cedar Mountain                                                                                 

Stop b             Rapidan River                                                                                    

Stop c             Remington                                                                                         

Stop d             Freeman’s Ford                                                                                 

Stop e             Jeffersonton                                                                                       

Stop f             Bristoe Station                                                                                   

Stop g             Mayfield Fort                                                                                    

Stop h             Thoroughfare Gap                                                                             

Chantilly Excursion                                                                    

Stop a             Pleasant Valley Church                                                                     

Stop b             Ox Hill Battlefield Park                                                                    

Appendix A    Orders of Battle                                                                                 

Appendix B     Organization, Weapons, and Tactics                                                


For Further Reading                                                                          

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