Henry Hill was the site of the first major battle of the Civil War, called the Battle of First Manassas by the South and First Bull Run by the North. Manassas was the local railroad station, and Bull Run is a nearby stream.
On July 21,1861, both sides converged on Henry Hill. On this day and hill, Confederate Brigadier General Barnard Bee rallied his men as he pointed to the newly-arrived General Thomas J. Jackson and shouted, “There stands Jackson like a stone wall! Rally behind the Virginians!”
Union forces dragged ten-pounder Parrott guns (each weighing about 1800 pounds, with a maximum range of 1900 yards) up Henry Hill. In total, there were 24 cannon on Henry Hill that afternoon: 11 Union and 13 Confederate.
This land and the “Spring Hill” house were acquired by the Henry family in 1822. On this day of battle, widowed Judith Carter Henry, an 85 years old invalid, still lived here with her daughter and a leased slave. Confederate snipers fired on Union soldiers from her bedroom window and were answered by a 10 pound shell from a Union cannon about 60 yards away. Mortally wounded, Judith Henry was the first civilian casualty of the Civil War. She and her daughter and son (who died in 1888 and 1898, respectively) are buried in the Henry Family Cemetery in front of the reconstructed house. (The original house was decimated by souvenir hunters after this battle and then burned during the Battle of Second Manassas.)
The battle on Henry Hill continued until just after 4 p.m., when the Northern forces withdrew.
These photographs of Henry Hill were taken in April, 2016.
For more information about the Manassas National Battlefield Park in Virginia, visit the website at https://www.nps.gov/mana/index.htm.