On the eve of the sesquicentennial anniversary of Battle of First Manassas, the federal park where the battle actually took place will grow by 54 acres, thanks to the preservation efforts of the Civil War Trust. The official announcement is scheduled for 10 a.m. this morning at the historic Brawner’s Farm at Manassas National Battlefield Park.
The donation is particularly important for Manassas because the surrounding area is already densely developed for residential and commercial purposes. Any undeveloped parcels were considered lost to preservation because of their enormous value.
The parcels include 44 acres owned by Service Corporation International (SCI); of that, 34 acres were donated outright to the Trust with the remaining acres held in an easement by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources. The land, known historically as the Dogan Farm, is valued at $1.125 million, according to the Trust.
The Dogan Farm was a notable landmark in First Manssas (also known as First Bull Run) but it was in Second Manassas that history records a battle there so bloody and intense that soldiers later called it “the vortex of hell.”
The second land transfer includes two properties that total 10 acres which the Trust purchased in 2010. The larger of the two parcels is located near the SCI land and the other is just off Sudley Road (Rt. 234), a major road that runs through the park.
The Trust is still raising money to pay for these properties as well as for battlefield parcels at Fredericksburg, Gettysburg and the Wilderness.
The land donation comes just as events celebrating the 150th anniversary of First Manassas are set to begin. A guide to anniversary events can be found here.