For the soldiers who fought at Manassas, these fences offered rallying points, obstacles to climb over, ready firewood, and cover from flying lead. In many cases they were dismantled. An examination of the damage claims filed by battlefield civilians shows that fence rails were one of the most valuable losses that they claimed. The Van Pelt family claimed 13,000 rails destroyed.
In the 1860’s, the landscape of the present Manassas National Battlefield Park was divided by miles and miles of fencelines. Keeping animals in, keeping animals out, delineating property– wooden fencing was essential to the 19th century farm. Worm fencing, as seen here, was like modern day electric fencing– it was not anchored by fence posts, and was easily movable.
Today, recreated fence lines help visitors to the battlefield understand the historic landscape. In addition to the cost of the rails and the staff to build them, the park must continuously clear vegetation from miles of fence. Your generous donation can help offset these costs. Adopt a section of fence and leave your legacy on the battlefield today.
The following areas are available for fence adoption:
Cut Back Encroaching Woods and Restore Fence Line at Battery Heights:
The eastern edge of the Brawner Woods has encroached 20-30 feet beyond the original tree line into the fields at Battery Heights. This tree line was historically the border between the Brawner and Dogan Farms.
Your generous donation will support trimming back and treating the vegetation, then constructing a worm fence along the entire eastern edge of the woods.