Guarding the FordsBy the early summer of 1861, Americans in both the North and South greeted the outbreak of war with patriotism and expectations of a quick decisive battle to end the conflict. In the North, the public clamored for immediate invasion to crush the rebellious South. While professional soldiers urged patience, President Lincoln, bowing to public pressure, ordered Gen. Irvin McDowell to submit a plan to advance on the important railroad junction at Manassas. On July 17, 1861, anticipating the Federal attack, Gen. Pierre G. T. Beauregard ordered Confederate forces to abandon the extensive earthworks on the open plains at Centreville and withdraw behind the strong naturally wooded defensive position of the Bull Run steam. Beauregard knew the Federals would not cross Bull Run except at the fords and bridges because the river banks were steep and the approaches to other crossings impassable. The new defensive position increased the Confederate chances for victory and protected the vital railroad junction at Manassas that was used to supply and reinforce the Southern army. The first tactical use of railroads in history to deliver troops to combat occurred on July 21, 1861, at the Battle of First Manassas when three Confederate brigades (9,000 men) under the command of General Joseph E. Johnston arrived at Manassas Junction from the Shenandoah Valley.
|Series||This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series|
|Placed By||Civil War Trails|
|Marker Condition||No reports yet|
|Date Added||Sunday, October 26th, 2014 at 5:15pm PDT -07:00|
|UTM (WGS84 Datum)||18S E 287283 N 4297810|
|Decimal Degrees||38.80340000, -77.44961667|
|Degrees and Decimal Minutes||N 38° 48.204', W 77° 26.977'|
|Degrees, Minutes and Seconds||38° 48' 12.24" N, 77° 26' 58.62" W|
|Driving Directions||Google Maps|
|Area Code(s)||703, 571|
|Closest Postal Address||At or near 7122 Centreville Rd, Centreville VA 20121, US|
|Alternative Maps||Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap|
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