The Old Museum at Manassas

Last update
Jul 13, 2005

Battlegrounds witness a gamut of human experiences.

Tragic, poignant, ironic, miraculous escapes, and incredible coincidences. These objects recall several such events connected with the Battles of Manassas.
Comrades removed this sword and sash from artillery Captain James Ricketts after he fell beside his guns on Henry Hill during First Manassas.

This pair of field glasses belonged to Major General Fitz John Porter, commander of the Union 5th Corps during Second Manassas. Porter did not attack at Dawkins Branch as ordered by General Pope because he knew Confederate troops had arrived there before him in overwhelming numbers, a fact unknown to Pope. Porter was convicted by court martial for disobeying orders. His conviction was overturned 20 years later.

This Bible and fan belonged to Mrs. Judith Carter Henry, an eighty-five year-old widow, who was killed when the action of First Manassas swept over her house. Earlier in the day her son had tried to move their bedridden mother to a neighbor's house, but Mrs. Henry thought she would be safer in her own bed.

Cornerstone from McLean's barn.

The Ruins of the McLean's barn.

The war exploded, laterally, in Wilmer McLean's home when a shell landed in his kitchen during First Manassas. Confederates used his home as headquarters, and his barn as a hospital and shelter for prisoners of war. After the battle, McLean moved to Appomattox Court House, Virginia to escape the war. Nearly four years later, General Lee surrendered to General Grant in McLean's parlor.

The Cantwell Brothers Colroful Confusion