Nearly every day on my way home I pass through the Manassas Battlefield Park. I had two relatives fight in those battles. One was a 13 year old drummer boy with romantic ideas who ran away from his home in Upper Marlboro Maryland to follow his elder brother into the war. That is an interesting family story in itself. The elder brother survived the war. The drummer boy did not survive the Second Battle of Manassas and is buried somewhere on the battlefield.
A prominent memorial feature of both battles is the old Stone House. It was located right in the middle of the battlefield and was used as a hospital for both First and Second Manassas.
This photo was snapped after the second battle of Manassas.
It is part of a collection of recently discovered and fabulously preserved Civil War photos that can be seen at:
Behind and to the left of the house can be seen a hill, which is far steeper than it looks here. Covered with fencing and topped with an array of cannons during the war, that hill is now a wonderful place to go for sledding.
It is interesting how things can change with time.
On my way home yesterday I noticed that nobody was there. The place is usually crowded with tourists. So I stopped by to do a Stone House home inspection!
I took the opportunity to stop and snap this photo, from nearly the same position as the one taken during the Civil War. To take the photo from the same position I would have had to stand in the road, VA Route 29!
The house is substantially similar to its appearance during the war.
It is very well preserved, right down to the initials and names carved into the floors by recovering soldiers.
How did the masons get those corner stones to stack so neatly and have such sharp corners?
Look closely - they chiseled them!
Every one. Slowly hand chiseled, individually, and the process must have taken some time.
On some aspects of the walls you can see some of the original mortar, which surprisingly has lasted this long. It is a bit sandy, but looks and feels original. That would make it older than 150 years.
There has been virtually no movement of the house all these years. Some of the window sills have cracked, which you can see here, but none of the lintels or corners. The place was obviously founded really well.
Also, some of the window panes are very wavy, indicating that they are original as well.
Such original, wavy windows can be seen on many historical buildings in the area, including Monticello and Mount Vernon, and the antebellum Red Fox Inn, in which some of the Revolutionary War was planned.
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560