On the ridge ahead of you stood "Portici," an important landmark of both battles of Manassas. In 1861, Frank Lewis resided here with his wife Fannie and two small children. Their middling plantation consisted of 769 acres. The family owned eleven slaves to work the property - cultivating grain, herding livestock, and performing domestic chores.
The arrival over war shattered Portici's peaceful existence. During the First Battle of Manassas, the home served as both a headquarters and a hospital. Thirteen months later, Union and Confederate cavalry clashed in the adjacent fields. Returning to utter devastation at war's end, the Lewis family began the arduous process of rebuilding their lives, a scene repeated countless times throughout the ravaged South.
A short walk leads to the site of Portici. Exhibits there discuss the property's role during the two battles. The trail to the left leads to the Ball family cemetery and Holkum's Branch.