Researching Your Civil War Ancestor at Manassas

Group of officers, headquarters, Army of the Potomac
Group of officers, headquarters, Army of the Potomac in the fall of 1863

Library of Congress

Many Americans can trace their lineage back to the Civil War. Here at Manassas National Battlefield Park, many of our visitors are on the trail to follow their own ancestor who may have fought in one or both of our battles. Would you like to follow in your ancestor’s footsteps at Manassas? We can help!

To begin your search, it is helpful if you have some of the following information:

  1. Soldier’s Name

  1. If he served in the United States or Confederate Army

  1. State of service

  1. Unit Designation (ex 2nd Wisconsin, 4th South Carolina, etc...)

Having all or some of this information will better position yourself as you begin to research your ancestor. With this information, our staff and volunteers will be better positioned to assist in researching your ancestor.

The National Park Service Soldiers and Sailors Database is a great place to start your search for your ancestor.


Researching Your Ancestor

The park’s research library includes many regimental histories which provide detailed information on the organizing of the units and their service during the War as well as diaries and memoirs written by members of regiments that fought at Manassas.  

The park also has detailed troop movement maps for you to follow your ancestor’s regiment across the battlefield. These are available for both battles at the Henry Hill Visitor Center and for the second battle only at the Brawner Farm Interpretive Center.     

Nearly 150,000 soldiers took part in the Battles of Manassas, each with their own unique experiences of the monotony of soldier life and the shock of battle.  Do you have letters, diaries, or photographs of your ancestor’s that took part in the battles fought here or that passed through the area during the War? We are always looking for additions to the park’s research library! Accounts from the park’s research library have been used in museum exhibits, research papers, website pages and social media posts, helping historians and visitors gain a greater understanding of the battles fought here.   

Last updated: September 5, 2023

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12521 Lee Highway
Manassas, VA 20109


703 361-1339 x0

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