Stone Bridge, Manassas Battlefield Park

A popular and interesting remain of the two Civil War battles in Manassas, Virginia is the Stone Bridge.  It had an interesting role in both of the battles, although on the edge of the battlefield.

Perhaps hard to see, the bridge is located on the right of the map seen here, with the bold black line.

The Old Stone House, featured in a previous post, is just to the left of the bold black line, at the intersection about in the middle of the map.  The road connecting the two landmarks was then called the Warrenton Turnpike.

Interestingly, and a bit weird, when news got out about the First Battle of Bull Run, scores of Washingtonians packed picnic lunches and their carriages and rode out to "see the wah..."  They parked on the hill just above and to the left of the bold black line.  The crowd included Congressmen, Washington bureaucrats, war officials and their families and other well to do's.

The Union had barracks in Centreville, about three miles to the right of that bold black line.  The edge of the green on that map is only about 1.5 miles from the Stone Bridge.

Because of the near Union barracks, the Confederates had cut down many of the trees to give them a better sighted cannon shot and to see the Union troops if they approached and crossed the bridge.

This is how the bridge appears 10 April 2010, and how it probably appeared before the war.  The picture to the right shows the roadway over the bridge.  It is only 13 feet wide.  This view above looks directly toward where the Confederate cannons were set up to shower the bridge!  Only three miles behind this photo are the Union barracks in Centreville.  The bridge spans Bull Run Creek, which you see here.  My two relatives used this bridge, no doubt, on their approach to the battle.  Only one returned to cross it afterwards.

Bull Run Creek was used by both sides to wash their wounds and it is said to have run red with blood.

Setting up their picnics on the hill in the distance, the "wah" got too close and the viewing gallery ran for their lives.  They had to return over that narrow, 13' wide bridge!  It was quite the traffic jam!  From this point the return to Washington is about 25 miles.

The bridge was virtually destroyed by the battle, and then intentionally by Union troops more so thereafter.  It was so destroyed that the Confederates spanned it with wood so they could send guerrilla forays toward Centreville to harass the Union troops in the barracks there.  After the Second Battle of Manassas the Union troops angrily burned the wooden portion as they retreated.

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Jay performs inspections Monday through Saturday, throughout Northern Virginia, from his office in Bristow to Leesburg and Centreville, to Great Falls and Vienna and everywhere in between!