Confederate Gen. Thomas J. (Stonewall) Jackson received his nickname during the first battle of Manassas in 1861. A Metro article yesterday said he received the name during the second battle of Manassas, a year later. The article also said 23,000 troops reportedly died in that battle; that number includes wounded, captured and missing soldiers. Finally, the article said southerners refer to the battle as Bull Run. Northerners have referred to the two battles there as First Bull Run and Second Bull Run, while southerners call the battles First and Second Masassas.
The U.S. government finally has taken possession of a Prince William County farm where Union and Confederate soldiers fought a bloody battle during the Civil War.
The National Park Service had to go to U.S. District Court in Alexandria to win possession of the 312-acre Brawner Farm, where on Aug. 28, 1862, Gen. Stonewall Jackson's 7,000 rebels opened fire on 3,000 Union soldiers in one of the war's most grisly fights.
"It took the South to the high point of their power," said Haywood Harrell, historian for Manassas National Battlefield Park, which will annex the Brawner Farm. " Gen. Robert E. Lee could never have taken the war into the North if he had not won there."
Late Tuesday, the Park Service took title to the farm, after paying the current owners $812,000 and gaining approval for the action from the federal court in Alexandria.
The farm, which has been abandoned for several years, has fallen into ruin as looters seeking relics from the great Confederate victories known as the Battle of Bull Run to southerners and the Battle of Manassas to northerners have ravaged the area, according to Park Service officials.
Although the government has taken title, after first gaining permission from Congress, a judge will rule on June 14 whether the fee paid to the 17 owners is fair market value as the Park Service maintains. The judge can alter the price.
The farm is one of the more historically important parcels of land connected with the Second Battle of Bull Run, according to historians. It was during that fight that Jackson won the name "Stonewall," and more than 23,000 troops are said to have died there. Harrell said he believes almost 3,000 died on the Brawner Farm alone.
Since last summer, when the federal government stepped up efforts to take possession of the land, relic hunters have uncovered the burial site of a Confederate soldier.
"This will allow us to protect that site, and stabilize the land," said Harrell. "We also want to look at the abandoned farmhouse there. Some of it may have dated back to the Civil War." He said the Park Service will hire an architect to examine the structure.
The government's effort to take possession of the land has been thwarted in the past by the death of the principal owner and by heirs who say the price is low.