On August 28, 1862, a little more than a year after Union and Confederate armies first clashed on the Manassas I battlefield, Union Gen. Pope ordered the Army of Virginia to Manassas to confront Stonewall Jackson. Jackson hid a Confederate battery just north of Brawner's Farm and ambushed the Union corps with artillery fire. For the next two days battles raged at Battery Hill, Matthews Hill and Sudley. On August 30th, Pope ordered a massive, futile and bloody assault on the Confederate line at an unfinished railroad grade known as at Deep Cut. The Union soldiers at Deep Cut were bombarded with artillery fire from Jackson's entrenched position in the railroad cut as well as artillery fire from the Confederate positions at Brawner Farm and Battery Heights.

The Union assault on Deep Cut was finally driven back to Groveton. Pope's army made a desperate final stand at Chinn Ridge, and then retreated at nightfall back across Stone Bridge. Following this crushing Union defeat that caused combined casualties of more than 20,000, President Lincoln relieved Pope of his command and dissolved the Army of Virginia.

manassas battlefield brawner farm ranger tour

The Brawner Farm Interpretive Center at the site of Stonewall Jackson's concealed battery and ambush of Union troops features a staffed park office and ranger-led tours. The scenic 1.3 mile Brawner Farm Loop Trail follows the opposing Union and Confederate battles lines and features a Confederate battery.

manassas battlefield battery heights

Dixie Artillery bombarded Union forces at Deep Cut from atop Battery Heights.

manassas battlefield stone house

Made of red sandstone, the ca. 1848 Stone House served as a wagon stop for travelers between the Shenandoah Valley and Northern Virginia and provided shelter for men wounded during the Second Battle of Manassas.

manassas battlefield matthews hill battery

Matthews Hill was the site of a Union battery at Manassas Battlefield.

manassas battlefield deep cut trail clouds

Stonewall Jackson's one and a half mile Confederate line extended along the Deep Cut, a steeply graded railroad bed.

manassas battlefield groveton monument

The Groveton Monument is inscribed with the words 'In Memory of the Patriots who fell at Groveton. Aug 28th 29th and 30th 1862.'

manassas battlefield chinn ridge trail

The Union made a valiant last stand at Chinn Ridge before their final retreat. Here, Daniel Webster's son, Col. Fletcher Webster, was mortally wounded. As he lay dying on Chinn Ridge, a Confederate soldier stopped to give him water and at Webster's request, took his wallet and returned it to his family.

Visiting the Manassas II Battlefield

Your best bet to tour Second Manassas is to start at the Manassas National Battlefield Park. Here, there is a staffed park office offering a 45-minute film entitled Manassas: End of Innocence, guided tours with park rangers, driving tours, hiking trails, picnic areas, and a gift shop. The 18-mile Second Manassas Driving Tour is available at the park office and features stops and hiking trails at each of the sites of major battle actions. The trails consist of mowed grass tracks on scenic, hilly terrain. The Stone Bridge trail has wooden staircases built into steep inclines, making this trail inaccessible for some people. The Chinn Ridge trail, however, is level and paved and suitable for mobility devices. A leader in battlefield biodiversity and conservation, the 5,000 acre Manassas National Battlefield Park offers over 40 miles of trails in a pristine battlefield that appears much as it did 150 years ago.

An app is also available from Civil War Trust that features a Battle Overview and tours of Brawner's Farm, The Unfinished Railroad and Longstreet's Attack. This excellent resource contains driving directions to all stops as well as readings, photographs and interactive media describing the background and battle actions.

Visit Civil War Trust and National Park Service for battle details and information about the preservation of this battlefield.

Pictured at the very top: Formerly a tavern serving travelers through the area, the restored ca. 1848 Stone House served as a Union field hospital during the battles of Manassas and then as a private residence. Today the Stone House is open to the public as part of Manassas National Battlefield Park. Henry Hill and the park visitor center is seen in the distance.