The Sudley Road Trace

28 04 2007

I apologize for not having upheld my promise of Friday photo postings.  Life has a nasty habit of getting in the way.  Let’s just say it’s been a very busy year for me in lots of ways, with no signs of letting up any time soon.

Here’s a shot of one of my very favorite spots on the Bull Run battlefield.  This is about all that’s left of the original Sudley Road. 



Part of the road generally formed the western border of the Henry Hill fighting, though technically I think the hill continues west past the road before the land rolls into Chinn Ridge, the scene of Howard’s undoing.  Also known as the Manassas-Sudley Rd., the Sudley & New Market Rd, and even simply the Manassas Rd, this tract led from the crossings of Bull Run at Sudley Ford and then Catharpin Run at Sudley Mineral Springs, through the intersection at the Stone House on the Warrenton Pike, all the way to Manassas Junction.  Two divisions of McDowell’s army, first Hunter’s and then Heintzelman’s, followed this general route south toward Henry Hill.

How to get there 

If you park at the main Visitor’s Center, walk back down the driveway (west) toward Sudley Rd.  At the road, turn left (south) into the grass (you know, you are permitted to leave the beaten path at the park!) and head toward the woods.  There you’ll find the original trace separated from the modern road by a thin screen of trees.  It’s only maybe 100 yards long, but this will give you a better idea of what constituted a road in 1861.