Manassas National Battlefield Park hosts more than a week’s worth of events while observing the Second Manassas sesquicentennial. The events run from August 25 through the Labor Day weekend to September 2:
August 25 (Saturday)
- In the Steps of “Stonewall” Jackson: Prelude to Second Manassas Bus Tour – A reservation-only tour following the approximate route of Jackson’s forces on their march to Manassas Junction. Contact the park bookstore at 703-361-6549, ext. 2. Seats are $50 each.
August 26 (Sunday)
- Thoroughfare Gap: A Walking Tour – Park historian Jim Burgess leads this tour through the ruins of Chapman Mill and other sites. Tour starts at 3:00 p.m. and lasts 90 minutes.
- Manassas Junction and its Railroads: From Union Lifeline to Confederate Prize – Starts at 7 p.m., a one hour talk at the Manassas Museum, 9101 Prince William Street, downtown Manassas.
August 28 (Tuesday)
- 7 p.m. – Brawner Farm: the Battle Begins – Park historians guide visitors through the opening phases of the battle of Second Manassas with a 90 minute tour starting at the Brawner Farm Interpretive Center.
August 29 (Wednesday)
- 10 a.m. – Standoff at the Railroad – A walking tour focused on the fighting near Sudley Church on August 29, 1862. Tour starts at the church, which is Tour Stop 5 of the overall park tour.
- 2 p.m. – Breakthrough at the Railroad – This tour covers the afternoon attacks at the Unfinished Railroad. The 90 minute tour departs from Tour Stop 6.
- 4 p.m. – Battling for the Rocky Knoll – A 90 minute tour taking in other sites along the Unfinished Railroad. Tour departs from Sudley Church.
- 7 p.m. – Clash at Groveton Crossroads – The evening tour, lasting 90 minutes, departs from Tour Stop 9 and focuses on the fighting at Groveton.
August 30 (Thursday)
- 11 a.m. – Robinson Farm: Behind Union Lines – Sixty minute program focuses on the experience of the James Robinson family, a free African-Americans, during the battle. Tour starts at the Visitor Center.
- 2 p.m. – Slaughter at Deep Cut – Departing from Tour Stop 7, this 90 minute tour covers Porter’s ill-fated assault at Deep Cut.
- 4 p.m. – Counterattack at Chinn Ridge – Walking tour focused on the Confederate counterattack leading to the battle’s climax. The 90 minute tour departs from Tour Stop 9, the New York Monuments, and concludes at Tour stop 10, Chin Ridge.
- 7 p.m. – Battling Until Sunset: The Struggle for Henry Hill – A tour of the final phases of the battle covering the fighting along the Manassas-Sudley Road and Henry Hill. The 90 minute tour starts from the Visitor Center.
August 31 (Friday)
- On the Battle Lines: Sudley Church at Second Manassas – Evening 90 minute program featuring a guided walk along the Unfinished Railroad and to Sudley Church. After the tour the Sudley Methodist Church offers a vespers service starting at 8 p.m. Tour departs from the church.
September 1 (Saturday) – Lecture Series held at the Visitor Center auditorium.
- 11 a.m. – Alan Gaff – Author of Brave Men’s Tears.
- 1 p.m. – Stephen Potter – Editor of Archaeological Perspectives on the American Civil War.
- 3 p.m. – John Hennessy – Author of Return to Bull Run: The Campaign and Battle of Second Manassas.
- 7 p.m. – James I. Robertson, Jr. – Author of Stonewall Jackson: The Man, The Soldier, The Legend.
September 2 (Sunday) – Lecture Series held at the Visitor Center auditorium.
- 11 a.m. – Author TBA
- 1 p.m. – Scott C. Patchan – Author of Second Manassas: Longstreet’s Attack and the Struggle for Chinn Ridge.
- 3 p.m. – David Blight – Author of A Slave No More and American Oracle: The Civil War in the Civil Rights Era.
A nine day sesquicentennial campaign blending on the field tours and lectures from top scholars.
The park hosted an outstanding program last year for the First Manassas sesquicentennial. Receiving less fanfare from the “outside the park” organizations, this year’s Second Manassas events take on a more “at the park” focus.
Once again, I will take advantage of my location in the seat of the war and take in as much of the events as I can – maybe some tweeting… definitely some blogging. My headquarters will be in the saddle, so to speak. Hope to see you there.