The Unfinished Railroad, Manassas National Battlefield, Manassas, Virginia

John Cowgill: Stories of the Railroad


You are here.  You are at Manassas National Battlefield.  It was the site of the first major battle of the American Civil War and the only place during the war where two major battles took place.  (Although the first shot was fired at Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina and the first skirmish happened in nearby Fairfax, Manassas was the site of the first major battle.)  It was here where Confederate General Thomas Jackson led a defensive stand.  As a soldier watched Jackson, he quoted, “There he stands like a stone wall.”  Hence the name General Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson.


You take a walk on the battlefield.  You walk by cannons.  You walk on the ridges where soldiers stood in battle.  You see the peaceful landscape, a peaceful landscape that was not peaceful during the two wars.  You view the different monuments.  Then you notice something.  You see what looks like…

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