About This Lesson
This lesson is based on the National Register of Historic Places registration file, "Manassas National Battlefield Park" (with photographs), and other sources. It was written by Michael Litterst, former Park Ranger and Supervisory Historian at Manassas National Battlefield Park. Mr. Litterst is now Supervisory Park Ranger at Colonial National Historical Park. TwHP is sponsored, in part, by the Cultural Resources Training Initiative and Parks as Classrooms programs of the National Park Service. This lesson is one in a series that brings the important stories of historic places into the classrooms across the country.
Where it fits into the curriculum
Topics: The lesson could be used in units on the Civil War. Students will strengthen their skills of observation and interpretation in the study of history and geography, and gain practice in analyzing primary documents.
Time period: Late 19th century
Relevant United States History Standards for Grades 5-12
Relevant Curriculum Standards for Social Studies
Find your state's social studies and history standards for grades Pre-K-12
Objectives for students
1) To explain the physical features of the area that brought the armies to Manassas.
2) To describe how the fighting of July 21, 1861 affected soldiers and the local population, both immediately and in the months and years following the battle.
3) To describe how the impact of the battle changed the way Americans of the time--military and civilian--viewed the Civil War.
4) To discover the effects of the Civil War on their own community, as well as communities around the nation.
Materials for students
The materials listed below either can be used directly on the computer or can be printed out, photocopied, and distributed to students. The maps and images appear twice: in a low-resolution version with associated questions and alone in a larger, high-resolution version.
1) three maps of Virginia and Manassas Battlefield today;
2) three readings compiled from accounts by soldiers and civilians about the battle and its aftermath;
3) one drawing and two historic photographs of the Henry House and the Stone House.
Visiting the Site
The fields over which the first battle of Manassas was fought are well preserved as part of the Manassas National Battlefield Park. The site is located just north of Interstate 66, approximately 25 miles west of Washington, D.C. The park is open 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. year round (with the exception of Christmas Day), with extended hours in the summer months. For additional information, contact the Superintendent, Manassas National Battlefield Park, 6511 Sudley Road, Manassas, VA 22110, or
visit the park's web pages.