From my battlefield visit this past Saturday, here’s a photo of Sudley Springs Ford on Catharpin Run, over which the divisions of Hunter and Heintzelman crossed on the morning of July 21, 1861. Compare it to the Barnard and Gibson photo from March 1862. Notice anything? See the pile of rubble on the other side of the run, left of center (click on the image if you can’t make it out)? They are all that remains of the Sudley Spring house. It appears nice and square in the 1862 photo to the left of the Union cavalrymen, who are facing off against the Thornberry kids on the near side. Look at the trees that frame the left of both photos. Clearly not the same trees, but notice how they are both leaning similarly. What does it mean? OK, nothing. But it’s cool, nonetheless.
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Tags: Articles, Manassas National Battlefield Park, Photos, Sudley Springs Ford, Thornberry Kids
Categories : Articles, Field Trips, The Battlefield
John Hennessy has this great post up at Remembering: Musings on Fredericksburg and Manassas, in which he dissects this famous image of Sudley Springs Ford in March, 1862. See other photos from this collection here.
With the anniversary fast approaching, there are lots of blog posts and newspaper articles popping up every day that concern First Bull Run. I don’t announce them all here, but I do try to keep up with them on Facebook and Twitter. Use the links I’ve embedded in their names to follow Bull Runnings there and keep up with the latest Bull Run news.
I’m still getting inquiries regarding whether or not I will be at the ceremonies and events at the battlefield this week. I have no official role there. I may head down that way on Thursday or over the weekend just to check out what’s going on, but I’m not sure just yet. If you go, please be sure to take lots of water and drink it regularly, before you get thirsty. The plains of Manassas is a very hot place indeed in the summer. I mean, really, really hot. If you see me there, please say hello.
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Tags: Articles, Blogroll, Digital History, Facebook, John Hennessy, NPS, Photos, Remembering: Musings on Fredericksburg and Manassas, Sudley Springs Ford, Thornberry House, Twitter
Categories : Articles, Civil War Blogroll, Civil War On the Web, Digital History, The Battlefield
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):
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Tags: Articles, Collateral Damage, NPS, Sudley Road, Sudley Springs Ford, Sullivan Ballou, Thornberry House, Writing About The Civil War
Categories : Articles, Field Trips, Galleries, The Battlefield, Writing About The Civil War