After visiting Antietam last weekend, I decided to visit another battlefield this past Saturday. Which one, though, was the question. Even at breakfast, I was torn between Fredericksburg and Manassas. I've been to both, more than once in fact, but not to either in 10 years. The last time I was at Fredericksburg, it rained most of the 4 or 5 hours we had alloted for this stop (one of about seven battlefields my Dad and I saw on that trip), and we knew there were things we missed.

Manassas, though, was the shorter trip this weekend, and one of my favorites based upon earlier visits. The impressive statue of Stonewall Jackson that welcomes visitors sets the mood for the day: You sense right away the history that took place here.

I also like that it is so easy to cover much of the battlefield with some nice hikes right from the visitor center. Before doing that, though, a 40-minute movie about the battles is a must see, as is a remarkable lighted map that shows the movements of the two armies during both Bull Run campaigns. After watching these, walking the trails allows you to get a sense of how the action took place in 1861 and 1862.

Do watch where you walk though, as this crossed in front of me down by the Stone Bridge...

A beautiful October Saturday was well spent here. (And I hope to get such a day in at Fredericksburg soon...)


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