Four days of living history events will mark the 150th anniversary of the Civil War battle in which the Confederates scored their first important — and very public — victory. First Manassas, also known as the Battle of Bull Run, was witnessed by thousands of spectators on July 21, 1861who brought picnic lunches and came to watch what was assuredly going to be a win by Union forces.
The events in Manassas kick off Thursday with a commemorative ceremony at 9:15 a.m. on Henry Hill with comments by Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell and a keynote address by University of Richmond president Edward L. Ayers, followed by a commemorative stamp dedication, musketry firing, battlefield tours and other family-friendly demonstrations. Friday’s featured events include Civil War baseball games and a parade. A full schedule of events can be found here.
The reenactment of the battle will take place at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday and again on Sunday. A map of the event area, parking and ticket information and a full schedule of events can be found here.
Other weekend highlights include a talk on military leadership at First Manassas by Smithsonian Chief Historian Emeritus Ed Bearss at the Henry Hill stage Saturday at 6 p.m., followed by the Quantico Marine Corps Band in concert. On Sunday at 3 p.m., historian and author Matthew Pinsker will be the final speaker.
Here at House Divided, The Washington Post’s Tim Smith will be live blogging from Camp Manassas Thursday and Friday, and live Tweeting from the battle reenactment on Saturday. Share your own photos from the commemorative events in our reader photo gallery.