Virginia Civil War 150
150th Anniversary Commemorative Event

Manassas National Battlefield Park
July 21, 2011
9:15 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.


Webcast Sponsored by Verizon

The bloodshed at Manassas in July 1861 foreshadowed much of the Civil War that would follow. Here, with hastily assembled armies in mismatched uniforms, the United States and the Confederacy struggled to establish their purposes and their futures. The battle revealed some of the defining features of the war to come: the obliteration of the line between battlefield and home front, the critical role of railroads and artillery, the overconfidence of both sides, the allure of war as spectacle, the cult of personality, and the impatience of the press. One crucial aspect of the war to come, however, remained invisible: emancipation. When war returned to this very field a year later, an incipient movement to freedom had begun to gather force, driven by enslaved African Americans and a President looking for a way to defeat a Confederacy that seemed to grow only stronger.

The 150th anniversary of what would become known as the First Battle of Manassas/Bull Run is a fitting time to look forward, even as the nation revisits and remembers the Civil War. Join the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission and the National Park Service for a program that will examine both the profound impact of the Civil War and the rich opportunities of the sesquicentennial.

Speakers included Robert F. McDonnell, Governor of Virginia, along with local, state, and federal officials. The keynote address was given by Dr. Edward L. Ayers, president of the University of Richmond and historian of the American South.


Virginia Sesquicentennial Commemoration of the American Civil War
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