Provided by City of Manassas
Transportation has always been an important chapter in the history of Manassas.
Formed as a railroad junction in the mid-1800s, Manassas Junction — later called Manassas — became a key crossroads connecting Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. with the Shenandoah Valley and Richmond.
Its role in the 1861-1865 Civil War served both Union and Confederate forces during different points of the war. In fact, in the beginning of the war, General Joseph E. Johnston’s Confederate troops crowded into freight and cattle cars at Piedmont Station (present-day Delaplane) on the Manassas Gap Railroad where they rode about 30 miles east to the battlefield near Bull Run to fight in the First Battle of Manassas, July 21, 1861. (Established in 1940, this 5,000-acre battlefield is preserved Federal parkland on what is now the Manassas National Battlefield Park.) This use of railcars marked the first time in history that railroads were used to transport troops to a battlefield. Carrying more than 10,000 soldiers to Manassas proved a striking reality of the arrival of a new era in military transport.
The print above shows Union supply trains being destroyed at Manassas Junction by Confederate General Stonewall Jackson on Aug. 28, 1862. Click here to access the Manassas Museum Online Collections.