A View to a Hill

28 03 2008


view-of-field.jpg  henry-house.jpg

Reader Amy Lindenberger sent the following in reference to the photo above, which appears in this Bull Runnings gallery:

The image labeled “View of Field (Unknown)” (left photo above, click on thumbnail for larger image) is taken from a camera position some distance (not yet sure of exact distance, I’ll work on that the next time I can get back to VA) behind the Stone House, looking across the Warrenton Pike and towards the ruins of the Judith Henry house. The Henry house is that blob on the horizon, towards the right side of the image. If you study the image labeled “Henry House Ruins” (right photo above), and then look closely at the ruins on the right side of this image, you can see that they are the same, though reversed; the “unknown” image is just taken from the opposite side of the house and at a significant distance away. I am an artist specializing in works inspired by Civil War era Americans, and currently working on a piece based on the final days in the life of Judith Henry. A few months ago I ordered a very large, very detailed reprint of this image from Zazzle.com and in that version of the photo, the ruins are unmistakable.

Thanks Amy!  For another interpretation of the camera location, see this article co-authored by NPS ranger Jim Burgess; it suggests that the photo was taken facing west.



6 responses

28 02 2009
1862 Photos of Bull Run (Library of Congress) « Bull Runnings

[…] View of Field (Unknown) – See aslo this post […]


26 09 2012

I live in centerville (quite near blackburns ford) and i have walked every trail from the O&A bridge to brawners farm many many times. Having a pretty good feel for the terrain, I dont think this photo is of the henry house (although one would think that would be a good candidate).

If it were, then that would mean that the intersection in the foreground (center left in the picture) would have to be the intersection of the Warrenton Pike and the Manassas-Sudley Springs Rd. If that were the case, then the stone house would also be visible because it’s right at the intersection of those two roads. Also i dont see either Young’s branch or Bull Run (both of which would be visible).

All and all, I am not sure what this is of. Do we have a date of when this was taken?

I am thinking that this may brawners farm taken from Stoney Ridge and that the intersection is the Warrenton Pike and the Groveton-Sudley road. If that’s the case, the photo would the fields of Second Manassas right where the union attacked the confederate right on august 30 of 1862; just before Longstreet counter-attacked.


26 09 2012
Harry Smeltzer

I believe the photo was taken in the spring of 1862. You may wish to discuss this with Jim Burgess at the park.


26 09 2012

Maybe I will someday when I am walking near the visitors center. In any event, I just came across this page today trying to find pictures of Sudley ford and find this to be excellent.

Also, looking at it again, the picture has to be very early spring or winter because there are no leaves or buds on vegetation. So it could be Spring of 1862. However, if it is, that rules out Second Manassas.

I still dont think this is henry house because I just dont see where it could have been taken from without Stone House appearing in the picture. Its possible that it could have been taken from somewhere between Lewis Ford and Portici (i.e. looking northwest from south east of henry house) and that Stone house was hidden behind the hill the house is on, but then I would expect to see either Balds Hill or Chinn at the extreme left of the picture.

In any event, cool site.


26 09 2012

Do you have a link to the article by Jim that you linked to? The one from the original post appear to be inactive these days.


26 09 2012
Harry Smeltzer

Rats – that happens sometimes. Sorry, but no I don’t have it. I believe the article was in Military Images magazine a while back. If you talk to Jim (and I encourage you to do so), he may be able to get you a copy. In the meantime, follow this link to more in depth discussion of this and other photos:



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