Then and Now
With the 148th anniversary of the battle approaching, I thought I would share these images of the Ox Hill (Chantilly) Battlefield. The first was taken over twenty years ago (1987, I think), when I was taking an undergraduate Civil War course at Northern Virginia Community College with Charles Poland. At the time West Ox Road was transforming from the two lane rural road with large lots on both sides it was when my school bus travelled on it every morning to what it is today with Monument Drive just having been built. The second picture was taken two weekends ago, when I was in the area doing work on the Manassas guide for the This Hallowed Ground series Mark and Brooks edit with Steve Woodworth for the University of Nebraska Press.
It is sad how little of the battlefield is preserved, but the Fairfax County Park Authority deserves kudos for doing a very good job with what is left in developing the park a few years ago. You certainly get a better understanding of the battle today than you did when all I remember there being was a trail leading to the Kearny and Stevens monuments and Kearny stump. Plus, you can now honor the men who fought there by grabbing a burger, catching a movie, and stocking up at Bed, Bath and Beyond just across the street. I’m pretty sure that’s what Stonewall and Kearny would have wanted.