At first glance, the rolling agricultural fields and quaint farm house of the Brawner Farmstead seem unremarkable. But this Civil War battle site, located on the western edge of Manassas National Battlefield Park in Virginia, has a rich and battle-scarred history. Measuring about 344 acres, the farm was originally settled by George Tennille soon after 1800, and has been farmed almost continuously since that time. This farm was destined for more than just livestock and tilling, however. The first shots of the Second Battle of Manassas (also known as the Second Battle of Bull Run) were fired here on August 28, 1862, between a wing of Major General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson's Confederate Army of Northern Virginia and soldiers from Brigadier General Rufus King's division of the Third Corps of the Union Army of Virginia. Long and very bloody story short, fighting continued to rage here over the next two days, leaving acres of ravaged crops, buildings and bodies behind it. Only the foundations of the original farmhouse, known as Bachelor's Hall, could be salvaged.
The Brawner Farmstead was acquired by the National Park Service in 1988. Today it stands as a testament to the endurance of history. Although the house itself is not the same structure that stood during the Civil War, it stands partially on the old foundations of Bachelor's Hall and reflects the original layout of this historic farming landscape. The National Park Service will soon house a new interpretation program here that brings visitors into closer touch with the full range of effects wrought by the conflict at Manassas. The farmstead is breathtaking in the autumn months, when fall colors and hay bales highlight its scenic, agrarian beauty and the trails are cool and dry. A network of walking and riding trails wind through this historic landscape and through some of the neighboring historic sites of Manassas National Battlefield Park. About five miles north of the town of Manassas, Virginia, the park can be reached by car via Route 29, also known as the Warrenton Turnpike.
Additional information and images can be found on the NPS Cultural Landscapes page for the Brawner Farmstead, here.