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Bull Run, Manassas Va

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Bull Run, Manassas Va

Good Morning!

We will be in Washington DC for a week in mid June and would love to see some sights outside the city that are civil war related. I understand that Manassas Va, the site of the battle of Bull Run is fairly close to DC. Can you tell me how long it takes to get there and what is the best way to do it?

Many thanks!

Washington DC...
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1. Re: Bull Run, Manassas Va

You will need a car to drive to Manassas and the Bull Run Park. It is less than an hour away if you go during the day. (If you tried during afternoon rush hours, it could take longer. Horrible traffic out that way.) I-66 will take you from the city almost to the park. I am unaware of any useful public transportation options.

Washington DC...
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2. Re: Bull Run, Manassas Va

Best (and only way really) to get there is if you have a car.

It is about a 45 minute drive from D.C. if you make it there straight without encountering any traffic.

The Manassas Battlefield is a National Park. There is a visitor center and several sites around the battlefield such as the Stone House, and the bridge at Bull Run. You can do walking tours from the visitor center, but the entire Battlefield is bi-sected into 4 parts by two fairly major roads. (Again, good to have your own car.)

Now, the Battlefield is on the outskirts of the "sprawl" of Manassas. The actual town (now City) of Manassas is about 5 miles from the Battlefield and is worth a visit. The Manassas Museum is there, along with the old train station which served the Manassas Junction as it was known then. If you visit the Manassas Museum, they can give you information to go visit Mayfield Fort and Cannon Branch fort. Mayfield Fort is cool-one of the last surviving Civil war earthen forts. (Not may people even know it is there!)

Again, a car would be useful, but it certainly would make a side trip that you could do in the middle of the day between rush hours.

Iowa
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3. Re: Bull Run, Manassas Va

Thanks for the replys...you have been very helpful! Now to decide what to do! Thanks again!

Baltimore, Maryland
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4. Re: Bull Run, Manassas Va

There were some recent posts on bus tours from DC to Gettysburg.

You can take a (Amtrak) train to Harper's Ferry, WV but requires an overnight stay to take train back. Again there were some recent posts on this also. Not aware of bus tours from DC to HF but maybe checking the grayhound website will find something.

Otherwise, car is best bet. Within 2 hours of DC are a number of civil war sights in VA, WV, MD and PA.

Teaneck, NJ
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5. Re: Bull Run, Manassas Va

The entire town of Harpers Ferry (site of John Brown's activities) has been turned into a living history site. We loved it and the scenery is magnificent. You'll need a car for that too, AFAIK. Here's the web site http://www.nps.gov/hafe/index.htm -- be sure to take the virtual tour nps.gov/hafe/…Harpers-Ferry-Virtual-Tour.htm

I've not been to Manassas but have been to Antietam. If Manassas is anything like Antietam I'd skip it and do Harpers Ferry unless you're really into troop movements and the order of battle. Imagine looking upon an open field and reading a sign giving the narrative of what happened there in 1862. If you can't imagine the movements of the soldiers it's pretty boring.

Dallas, Texas
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6. Re: Bull Run, Manassas Va

We will be in DC next week, and are planning a day trip to Manassas. I thought that we would be heading out against the traffic, so it wouldn't take that long. What times do you consider to be low traffic, between rush hours to head out there/back? What is the latest time we could head out, and latest time to head back?

Arlington, Virginia
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7. Re: Bull Run, Manassas Va

Here's a good website for info on visiting Manassas Battlefield. http://www.nps.gov/mana/index.htm

There often isn't any rhyme or reason to the traffic on I-66. But there is almost always some construction going on and you'll lose a lane of traffic causing slow-downs. While you are correct that you will be going against traffic going to and from Manassas, I would not try to go out before 9 or 9:30 am and I would start heading back to DC by 3 - 3:30 pm.

Bartlesville...
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8. Re: Bull Run, Manassas Va

During the daytime (any time between 6:00 am and 9:00 pm), you should probably just count on an hour or more one-way. You might get lucky and make it in 45 minutes or less, but an hour or so is more likely. During rush hour - even against the flow - a minimum of an hour is pretty much guaranteed.

At the Manassas Battlefield, you can purchase a self-guided tour pack that contains a map, CD and other info, so that you put the CD in your car player and it guides you to the various stops of significance, then gives you a narrative of each one. I wouldn't be surprised to find out that they also have MP3 downloads available, if you don't have a CD player in your car. As mentioned earlier, you have to use a litte imagination, in order to visualize the activities that took place during the battle, but we enjoyed it.

Gettysburg is a pretty easy day trip from DC and is very impressive. It too, can be a fair amount of driving around the battlefield, but is easier to visualize, as it has been maintained in more of the original condition. You can also arrange (in advance, online, I think) for a park docent to ride around the battlefield with you, and give you a personal explanation of the various sights. I'm sure they also have the CD option, similar to Manassas.

I've never been to Harper's Ferry, but lots of people say it's nice.

Gaithersburg
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9. Re: Bull Run, Manassas Va

This may be nit-picking, but there were actually TWO battles at Bull Run, or Manassas for the Confederates; hence, different troop movements - though the Union was trounced in both!

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10. Re: Bull Run, Manassas Va

Thank you NeedPivo. Getting it right isn't nitpicking at all. The terrorist, I mean union forces named battles for the nearest creek or stream, the CSA named them for the nearest town.