As the Union army approached Manassas Junction from Washington, D. C., in July 1861, Mitchell’s Ford was one of several Bull Run crossings defended by the Confederates. U.S. Brig. Gen. Daniel Tyler’s brigade tried to cross at nearby Blackburn’s Ford on July 18 but was repulsed. Confederate artillery in the Mitchell’s Ford Entrenchments withdrew when Union artillery fired on it. On July 21, Brig. Gen. Milledge L. Bonham’s brigade was stationed at Mitchell’s Ford when the first battle of Manassas began. Both Confederate commanders Brig. Gen. P. G. T. Beauregard and Brig. Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, were so convinced that the principal Union attack would come across Mitchell’s Ford that they waited on a nearby hill for an hour after the battle started to the west. One of the few remaining earthworks in the area, Mitchell’s Ford Entrenchments are listed in the registers under the Civil War Properties, Prince William County Multiple Property Documentation form.
Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.
VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark