Driving Tour Stop 1: Brawner Farm

Image of the Brawner Farm Interpretive Center with a lone tree and benches in the foreground
The Brawner Farm Interpretive Center

NPS Photo

Quick Facts

Historical/Interpretive Information/Exhibits, Information, Information - Ranger/Staff Member Present, Information Kiosk/Bulletin Board, Parking - Auto, Parking - Bus/RV, Pets Allowed, Restroom, Restroom - Accessible, Toilet - Flush, Trailhead, Trash/Litter Receptacles

On August 28, 1862, Federal and Confederate soldiers clashed on the fields around the Brawner Farm. In the immediate vicinity of the house, Union troops of the "Black Hat" Brigade clashed with the "Stonewall Brigade. More troops were fed into the struggle by both sides, and the lines exchanged volleys for nearly two hours, in places only 80 yards apart. Nearly one-third of the 7,000 troops engaged became casualties during this stubborn combat. The fighting around the Farmhouse marked the opening shots of Second Manassas. 

While you're here...

Visit the Brawner Farm Interpretive Center

The Brawner Farm Interpretive Center, open seasonally, provides an overview to the Second Battle of Manassas. A 9-minute long electronic map tells the story of Second Manassas and traces the troop movements and attacks during the three-day long battle. Two rooms with exhibits share the stories of civilians that lived on the battlefield as well as placing the battle
in the broader context of the war in 1862. 


Hike the Brawner Farm battlefield

The Brawner Farm Loop Trail traces the opposing lines of battle during the 28 August clash.  The trail, which begins and ends in the parking lot, includes interpretive signage along the way that relates the story of the opening fighting at Second Manassas. 


Attend a Ranger Program 

When the Interpretive Center is open, join a park ranger for a walking tour of the fighting at the Brawner Farm. 


Archeology at Brawner Farm

Once the scene of bloody combat, Brawner Farm sits today in a quiet corner of Manassas Battlefield. Archeologists have conducted multiple investigations of the property, which have uncovered the site of several structures and unearthed thousands of artifacts. This rich assemblage of domestic and military objects provides valuable information about those that lived and fought here. 

Excavations revealed the foundations of an earlier house partly underneath the current structure, and this earlier house was the one that stood during the Second Battle of Manassas. The chimney pile before you is all that remains of a large outbuilding believed to have served as a combined kitchen and slave quarter. Surveys of the yard produced evidence of former inhabitants- both free and enslaved - including pottery, dishes, tools, jewelry, and children's toys. Mixed in among these household items were heavy concentrations of military artifacts, which have contributed to our understanding of the positions and movements of units during the battle. Together these discoveries shed light on the rich history of Brawner Farm, but also serve as a poignant reminder of the war's impact on local residents. 

Manassas National Battlefield Park

Last updated: April 5, 2024