Last updated: March 12, 2015
- Manassas, VA
- Landmark of the Manassas battlefield, served as hospital following both battles
- National Park, Heritage Area, National Register of Historic Places, HABS/HAER/HALS
- OPEN TO PUBLIC:
Located in Manassas National Battlefield Park, this historic structure served as a field hospital for not one, but two, major Civil War battles - the First Battle of Manassas (Bull Run) and the Second Battle of Manassas (Bull Run). Built in 1848, its early years were spent as the home of farmer Henry P. Matthew and his family, who harvested the peaceful Virginia countryside surrounding the property.
All that would change in 1861, though, when fighting broke out so close to the house it was peppered with shot and shell throughout the First Battle of Manassas on July 21. The two-story structure did not go unused however. With its strong stone walls, a well in the yard and close proximity to the road back to Washington, D.C., it was the ideal site for treating the wounded, of which there were many. The ten hours of heavy fighting during the first battle on July 21, 1861 resulted in more than 2,700 injured soldiers. And the second battle, lasting three days in August 1862, left many more thousands from both sides wounded. Mostly under Confederate control for both battles, it was a hub of activity for surgeons and other medical personnel as they tried to save the dying.
During the Second Battle of Manassas, two wounded Union soldiers, Eugene P. Geer and Charles Brehm, both of the 5th New York Infantry, found their way into one of the upstairs rooms of the Stone House, where they carved their names into the floorboards. Brehm survived, but Geer died of his wounds. Their carved names can still be seen in the floorboards today.
After the war, the Matthews family sold the house in October 1865 and it passed through several owners before being purchased by the federal government in 1949. Extensively renovated in the years since, it is today open for both tours and interpretive activities.