Maryland Outdoor Club
Sat, Nov 20 2004 - Manassas Moderate Battlefield Hike (View Original Event Details)

Event Organizer(s): Colin Babb
Participants:Colin Babb, Amy Pickwick, Ralph Pickwick III, Kate Copanic, Leo Seung, Stacey Kittner, Laura Paszkiewicz, Kevin McCarthy, Jonathan Mikhalevsky, Greg Thomas, Pat Pickwick, Jesse Allen, Emma Setchell, ryan carson

Write Up:
The two Civil War battles that took place within the boundaries of the modern park at Manassas were famous for, among many other things, troops of both sides getting lost on occasion. The MOC, eager to please and adhere to historical accuracy, reenacted this small part of our nation's military history with surprising precision.

Our journey began with a tour of the 1st Manassas (or Bull Run, depending on whether you like to name your battles after towns or bodies of water) battlefield, which took us through the woods from the visitors' center, over a creek and a highway, and then to the Stone Bridge, where Union soldiers retreated in confusion from the field in 1861, hardly stopping to trample over the Congressmen and other tourists who had come to see the battle that day. Unfortunately, we were denied the opportunity to do our own trampling of members of Congress.

Once we began to head for the other side of the park, where the 2nd Battle of Manassas took place (a year later in August 1862), the wandering, spiteful spirit of Major General John Pope--the Union commander who managed to snatch defeaat from the jaws of victory--managed to wiggle his way into my head and cloud my judgement. Like Pope, one clump of trees or corn field pretty much looked like another, and paths through the forest all kind of led to nowhere in particular. But unlike Pope, after wandering around in the woods for a while, we actually managed to rediscover where we were (we also didn't encounter Stonewall Jackson and his men pointing rifles at us . . .).

After being dazzled by all the deer running around the park (which had the interesting habit of sticking their white tails straight up in the air as they ran), we finally headed back for the visitors' center. Some of the group drove the half mile or so to a Cracker Barrel, where we all had hearty meals to finish off the day.

--Colin Babb

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