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Civil War Trust

Manassas and Washington, D.C.

Tour Itineraries

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    family Cool for Kids


    Hike  Fun Hike


    Scenery  Impressive Views


    Tip  Insider Tip



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1 Day Trip - Manassas


Family Hike Scenery

Jump to our 1 Day Trip for Washington, D.C!

Jump to our 3 Day Trip, including both Manassas and D.C!

In July 1861, the Union and Confederate armies met for the first time at Manassas. In August 1862, the two armies met again on this site. The Confederates won resounding victories both times.

Before you go:

How to tour Manassas National Battlefield Park:

  • Take a ranger-led walking tour.
  • Take the 20 mile self-guiding driving tour (approximately 2-3 hours).
  • Use the Civil War Trust's free Bull Run battle app on your smart phone or iPad. 

 Time: 1 day  Sites: 2  Radius: 3 miles

1. Start at the Henry Hill Visitor Center:

  • Find out what Ranger Programs are scheduled for that day.
  • Watch the 45 minute orientation film, “Manassas: End of Innocence,” which covers the battles of both first and second Manassas.
  • Tour the museum exhibits and browse the bookstore. 

2. Tour the Battlefield:

  • Make sure to stop at the Sudley Ford, Stone House, Henry Hill, Brawner House, Deep Cut, and Stone Bridge.

3. Manassas Museum:

  • Explore the museum displays.
  • See the restored earthwork build by Confederate Gen. Beauregard as part of his defense of Manassas Junction.

Ford's Theatre

1 Day Trip - Washington, D.C.



Before you go:

 Time: 1 day  Sites: 3  Radius: 1.5 miles


1. Start at Ford's Theatre:

  • Take a tour of the theatre.
  • Visit the museum, located in the theatre’s basement.

2. Peterson House: 

  • Tour the house.

3. Lincoln's Summer Cottage:

  • Take a tour of the house.
  • Browse the informative exhibits.

Washington and Manassas

3 Day Trip


In three days, you will be able to explore both Manassas, Washington D.C, and these other great, nearby sites. Wherever you start, make sure not to miss Manassas National Battlefield Park or Ford's Theatre!

 Time: 3 days  Sites: 14  Radius: 40 miles

Jump to one of our sites:

1.     Manassas National Battlefield Park
2.     Bristoe Station Battlefield
3.     Chantilly / Ox Hill Battlefield Park
4.     Historic Blenheim Estate
5.     Ball's Bluff Battlefield Regional Park
6.     Fort Stevens
7.     Lincoln's Summer Cottage
8.     African American Civil War Memorial
9.     Ford's Theatre
10.   Lincoln Memorial
11.   Arlington House
12.   Frederick Douglass National Historic Site
13.   Fort Foote Park
14.   Fort Washington

Manassas National Battlefield

1. Manassas National Battlefield Park

In July 1861, the Union and Confederate armies met for the first time on the field. In August 1862, the two armies met again on this site. The Confederates won resounding victories both times.

Time: 3 - 4 hours

What to do:

Bristoe Station

2. Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park

This site saw the battles of Kettle Run in October 1862 and Bristoe Station in October 1863. It also served as winter quarters for both Confederate and Union troops, and as a cemetery for Confederate soldiers who died during the winter of 1861-62.

Time:
1 hour

Before you go:

What to do:

  • Explore the battlefield and cemetery.
  • Walk the 2.7 miles of trails.

Chantilly

3. Chantilly/Ox Hill Battlefield Park

Confederate forces attempted to outflank the Federal army retreating back to Washington, D.C. following the Battle of Second Manassas. The battle ended in a draw after a fierce thunderstorm hindered the effectiveness of the fighting. Two Union generals, Issac Stevens and Philip Kearny, were killed.

Time: 1 hour

Before you go:

What to do:

  • Walk the battlefield, reading the interpretive signage to orient yourself to the events of the battle.

Blenheim Estate

4. Historic Blenheim Estate

Union soldiers who were patients at this converted field hospital near Fairfax Court House left “graffiti” in the form of signatures, art, and poetry that has been protected and preserved.

Time: 30 minutes

What to do:

  • Examine the unique soldier graffiti.

Balls Bluff

5. Ball's Bluff Battlefield Regional Park

A mistaken scouting report led to a disastrous Union skirmish with Confederate infantry in this October 1861 battle on a bluff overlooking the Potomac. U.S. Senator Edward Baker, a Union colonel, was killed in the battle, becoming the first and only U.S. senator to die in the war.

Time: 1 hour

Before you go:

What to do:

  • Hike the trails in the park and read the interpretive signage describing the battle.
  • Take a self-guided audio tour (available for download here.)
  • Take a guided tour.

Fort Stevens

6. Fort Stevens

Guarding the northern entrance to the city, this critical fort was re-fortified in July 1864 after Confederate forces under Jubal Early camped just 10 miles away. President Lincoln came under fire here on July 12 as Early’s forces made a demonstration.

Time:1 hour

Before you go:

What to do:

  • Explore the fort and participate in any special programs happening that day.

Lincoln's Cottage

7. Lincoln's Summer Cottage

President Lincoln spent his wartime summers at this cottage, located on the grounds of a veterans’ home. He used the peace and quiet to formulate the Emancipation Proclamation and other critical war decisions.

Time: 1 hour

Before you go:

What to do:

  • Take a tour of the house.
  • Browse the informative exhibits.

African American Civil War Memorial

8. African American Civil War Memorial

Located in downtown Washington, D.C., this beautiful memorial honors the sacrifice of over 200,000 African American soldiers and sailors who fought in the Civil War.

Time: 30 minutes

Before you go:

What to do:

  • Walk around and appreciate the memorial.

Ford's Theatre

9. Ford's Theatre

No Civil War visit to D.C. is complete without a trip to Ford’s Theatre, the fateful place where President Lincoln was assassinated.

Time: 1.5 hours

Before you go:

What to do:

  • Take a tour of the theatre.
  • Visit the museum, located in the theatre’s basement.
  • Visit the Petersen House across the street where Lincoln died after being shot in the theatre.

Lincoln Memorial

10. Lincoln Memorial

Even if you visited the Memorial before, your overall trip will be enhanced and inspired by a visit to this iconic structure.

Time: 30 minutes

What to do:

  • Take in the sight of the 19 foot tall Lincoln statue.
  • Read the inscriptions of the Gettysburg Address and his Second Inaugural Address.

Arlington House

11. Arlington House

Overlooking the grounds of Arlington National Cemetery and the city of Washington, D.C., Arlington House was the family home of Robert E. Lee until he assumed command of the Confederate forces. His home and grounds were seized by the government and used as a burial ground for Union soldiers.

Time: 1 hour

Before you go:

  • Learn more about the life and military career of Robert E. Lee.

What to do:

  • Take a ranger-guided tour of the house.
  • Browse the exhibits on display in the house.

Frederick Douglass House

12. Frederick Douglass National Historic Site

Visit the home of the famed 19th-century orator, abolitionist, and advisor to President Lincoln.

Time: 1 hour

Before you go:

What to do:

  • Take a ranger-guided tour of the house.

Fort Foote

13. Fort Foote Park

Fort Foote is the only fort of the "Circle Fort" defenses around Washington, D.C., that remained active after the Civil War. It displays two mounted 15-inch Rodman cannons and is one of the best examples of undisturbed earthworks in the "circle" of forts built in the area.

Time: 30 minutes

What to do:

  • Take a ranger-guided tour of the house.

Fort Washington

14. Fort Washington

This outstanding example of 19th century seacoast fortifications was the only permanent fortification ever constructed to defend the nation's capital. During the first year of the Civil War, the fort controlled river access to Alexandria, Georgetown, and Washington, D.C., and maintained a training base for state militia troops from the North.

Time: 30 minutes

What to do:

  • Hike the trails in the park and read the interpretive signage describing the battle.
  • See a Civil War artillery demonstration, held one Sunday a month from April to October.



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