On-line Book
Cover book to Battling for Manassas: The Fifty-Year Preservation Struggle at Manassas National Battlefield Park. [Image of cannon in the battlefield]
Battling for Manassas: The Fifty-Year Preservation Struggle at Manassas National Battlefield Park


Table of Contents




Chapter 1

current topic Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11


Appendix I

Appendix II

Appendix III

Appendix IV

Appendix V (omitted from on-line edition)

Appendix VI

Appendix VII

Appendix VIII

Chapter 2
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Establishing a Park


George Carr Round's vision for the Manassas battlefields laid the foundation for preserving this Civil War site. Further contributions came from the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) and the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration. In 1921 the SCV established a Confederate park at the Henry farm, the location of heavy fighting during First Manassas. Fourteen years later, the Roosevelt administration incorporated the Confederate park into a New Deal recreational demonstration area, which included a sizable amount of land associated with both battles. Only after the federal government obtained control of these lands did Manassas National Battlefield Park come into existence on 10 May 1940.

Preservation of the Manassas battlefields during the interwar period was symptomatic of a larger movement in the United States that embraced tradition and history. Collecting Americana, from books and manuscripts to furniture and folk art, became an obsession for some of America's wealthiest citizens. These vast collections, valuable for their insights into past ways of life, eventually became the foundations for many important museums, including the Winterthur Museum (housing the Henry Francis du Pont collection of furniture and decorative arts) and the Shelburne Museum with its folk art. This collecting boom soon spilled over into the preservation of buildings and even sections of towns. Henry Ford relocated historic buildings to his Greenfield Village near Detroit, while John D. Rockefeller Jr. bankrolled the massive restoration of Colonial Williamsburg. [1]

Participation by middle-class Americans in this love affair with history took several forms. They drove their newly affordable automobiles, another contribution by Henry Ford, on the growing national system of highways and explored many out-of-the-way historic sites. States and organizations assisted these travelers' history bent by erecting roadside plaques describing significant events or directing tourists to notable stops along the way. Best seller lists for the 1920s and 1930s revealed America's penchant for history books and biographies, especially for the Revolutionary and Civil War eras. Local associations flourished with activity, celebrating occasions of both regional and national significance. People also celebrated their family histories by delving into genealogical research. Many New Deal agencies supported the chronicling of American history, whether in Farm Service Association photographs of the dust bowlers or in Works Progress Administration murals and theatrical productions. Each stage along the way to national park status for the Manassas battlefields reflects this feverish interest in history and provides specific examples of how Americans thought lands should be preserved and interpreted.

CONTINUED continued


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