Manassas NBP 11/5/2010: Sudley Springs, Sudley Road, Thornberry House, Ballou

8 11 2010

This past Friday (11/5) I made a quick trip to the Manassas National Battlefield Park to do some research for an upcoming installment of Collateral Damage.  I met up with Ranger Jim Burgess and he helped me with some work in the park archives, then we met up with friend Craig Swain and headed to the northern end of the park boundary. 

Among other sites, we visited the area where (it is likely) Sullivan Ballou’s body was recovered after its mutilation, burning, and reburial by the 21st Georgia (click the thumbs for larger images):

   

The Thornberry House, used as a hospital after both battles of Bull Run (the large tree to the left of the house in the second picture appears on the Barnard photo from 1862):

 

A trace of the original Sudley Road:

 

And Sudley Springs Ford over Catharpin (Little Bull) Run.  This is the same view as in the Barnard photo Jim is holding – you can see the modern remains of the Springs on the opposite bank.  Hunter’s division crossed Bull Run to the east at Sudley Ford, then crossed here to reach the battlefield:

    

Thanks so much to Jim Burgess for all the valuable assistance he has provided over the years – a good guy.  Also thanks to Craig for his always valuable commentary.  As a last bit of coolness, and much to Craig’s satisfaction, Jim took us down to the basement of the VC and showed us one of the original 200 lb Parrott shells from the Battle Monument.  It turns out that these shells were live, and not discovered to be so until the monument’s renovations in the 1970′s.  One of the disarmed shells survived (the shells had been de-fused but not disarmed as the black powder and case shot show):





Antietam’s Roulette House

22 08 2010

As I noted here, the October 2010 issue features the third installment of my column which  is now titled Collateral Damage.  The subject is the Roulette house on the Antietam battlefield.  Though I took lots of photos, and also had a few by friends Mike Pellegrini and Mannie Gentilenone were used in the article.  So I present them here for your perusal.

Let’s start with some exterior shots.  The left side of the front of the house is south, the right north.  The second and third photos were taken by my friend Mike.

  

Here’s the rear of the house.  Mr. Roulette kept his beehives in this back yard.  Confederate artillery, advancing Union troops, and upset hives combined here for an often repeated story.

 

The barn sits east of the house.  In the orchard to the southeast is a pear tree that survives from the time of the battle.

 

Here’s the basement door (I call these “Dorothy Doors”) out of which Mr. Roulette burst to encourage the advancing Federals to “Drive ‘em”.  The interior photo was taken by Mannie.  On the day I was there, my NPS guide Keven Walker warned me that the hot day and cool basement meant lots and lots of snakes, so we opted not to go downstairs.  I did see two large black snakes that day.

 

Inside the house Keven, a historian with the Cultural Resources division, pointed out that many of the fixtures dated from before the war, and could have been installed as early as the mid 1700s.

  

We entered the house via the kitchen, in the north end of the house.  One of the cool features in here is the beehive oven.  No flame inside – kind of like a pizza oven.  The fuel (wood) was put in outside, via this little addition on the north end of the house.  Must have been a pain cooking in winter, but was probably state-of-the-art.

  

Here’s the large dining/entertaining room in the center of the house.  You can see by the shot of the window how thick the walls are in this section of the house.  The construction is log at the south end, stone in the center, and frame on the north end.

  

The south end of the dwelling on the first floor is a living room or parlor.  There’s a little problem here with falling plaster, but a collection of the debris on the fireplace mantel shows how the plaster was made in those days.  It was heavy stuff.

 

The main stairway leads up to two smaller bedrooms in the south end of the house. 

   

On Sept. 17, 1862, a bullet fired from the vicinity of the sunken Pig Trough Road to the south of the house entered the window of the southwest bedroom, went through the wall above its door, traveled across the hall and exited inside the closet of the middle bedroom.  That’s Keven pointing to where the bullet entered the wall in the hallway.

   

There is a middle bedroom and a large bedroom at the north end of the house over the kitchen.  You can see in the sagging ceilings the effect of the heavy plaster over 200+ years.

 

The tour of the Roulette house was one of the great perks of my “job”.  Much thanks to Keven Walker, who has a book coming out soon on the farms of the battlefield.  Be sure to check out this and all the Collateral Damage columns in Civil War Times.

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Piedmont Station

23 10 2008

My friend David Langbart recently made a trip to Delaplane, VA, and snapped the below photos (he uses some kind of newfangled camera: the image is transferred to something called film, which is then developed into negatives, from which prints are made, whatever any of that means).  Situated about 25 miles southeast of Winchester, in 1861 Delaplane was known as Piedmont Station.  This is where elements of Joe Johnston’s Army of the Shenandoah boarded train cars bound for Manassas Junction, beginning on July 19th with the brigade of Thomas J. Jackson.

I’m not sure if any of the structures were there in 1861.  Here’s a link to some Piedmont Station/Delaplane markers courtesy of Historical Marker Database.

All views are east toward Manassas.





Manassas National Battlefield Park Photos April 2004

7 06 2008

 

I shot these in April 2004 with a very cheap camera - cannons are representative (click on the thumbs for larger image):

One of Ricketts’ Guns – Henry House Hill

One of Ricketts\' Guns

Battle Monument – Henry House Hill

Battle Monument

Jackson’s Artillery Line – Henry House Hill

Jackson\'s Artillery Line

Jackson Monument – Henry House Hill

Jackson Monument I

Jackson Monument II

Jackson Monument II

Griffin’s Guns – Henry House Hill, 2nd Position

Griffin\'s Guns

Original Sudley Road Trace South of Visitor’s Center

Sudley Road Trace

Stone Bridge over Bull Run

Stone Bridge





1862 Photos of Bull Run (Library of Congress)

15 12 2007

Along Bull Run Near Sudley Church (George Barnard)

bull-run-sudley-church.jpg

LOC Reproduction No.:  LC-DIG-cwpb-00960

Blackburn’s Ford – Ruins of RR Bridge (Unknown) 

blackburns-ford.jpg

LOC Reproduction No.: LC-DIG-cwpb-01546

Catharpin Run, Sudley Church, Remains of Sudley Sulphur Spring House (George Barnard)

catharpin-run.jpg

LOC Reproduciton No.: LC-DIG-cwpb-00956

Cavalry at Sudley Ford (George Barnard)

cav-at-sudley.jpg

LOC Reproduction No.:  LC-DIG-cwpb-00954

Cub Run Bridge (George Barnard)

cub-run-bridge.jpg

LOC Reproduction No.:  LC-DIG-cwpb-00945

Henry House Ruins (George Barnard)

henry-house.jpg

LOC Reproduction No.:  LC-DIG-cwpb-00972

Robinson House (George Barnard)

robinson-house.jpg

LOC Reproduction No.:  LC-DIG-cwpb-00967

Soldiers’ Graves (George Barnard)

soldiers-graves.jpg

LOC Reproduction No.: LC-DIG-cwpb-00974 

Stone Bridge Ruins (George Barnard)

stone-bridge-2.jpg

LOC Reproduction No.: LC-DIG-cwpb-00950  

Stone Brige Ruins #2 (George Barnard)

stone-bridge-3.jpg

LOC Reproduction No.:  LC-DIG-cwpb-00952

Stone Church at Centreville (George Barnard)

stone-church.jpg

LOC Reproduction No.: LC-DIG-cwpb-00937

Stone House (George Barnard)

stone-house.jpg

LOC Reproduction No.: LC-DIG-cwpb-00965

Sudley Church (George Barnard)

sudley-church.jpg

LOC Reproduciton No.: LC-DIG-cwpb-00959

Thornton’s (Thornberry’s) House on Route to Sudley Ford (George Barnard) 

thornton-house.jpg

LOC Reproduction No.: LC-DIG-cwpb-00963

View of Field (Unknown) – See aslo this post

view-of-field.jpg

LOC Reproduction No.: LC-DIG-cwpb-01314

View of Field #2

view-of-battlefield-2.jpg

LOC Reproduction No.: LC-DIG-cwpb-01527








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