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A Civil War era living history demonstration fires off a cannon at Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park in Bristow, Va. 
Discover Prince William & Manassas
A Civil War era living history demonstration fires off a cannon at Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park in Bristow, Va. 

New northern Virginia mobile tour takes groups to sites of 1863 Civil War battle

© 2015 Group Tour Media
September 6, 2013

BRISTOW, Va. — Discover Prince William & Manassas, Prince William County Historic Preservation Division and Fauquier County Department of Economic Development & Tourism have partnered on a mobile tour introducing visitors to the stories, personalities and outcomes of the Civil War’s Battle of Bristoe Station.

The mobile tour, funded with a Virginia Tourism Corporation grant, details sites related to the battle in Prince William and Fauquier counties in commemorating its 150th anniversary.

The Oct. 14, 1863, battle was the first major encounter between the Confederates’ Army of Northern Virginia and the Union’s Army of the Potomac following the epic Battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania five months earlier.

In the Battle of Bristoe Station, Confederate forces, led by Lt. Gen. A.P. Hill, suffered casualties of 1,428 — with 136 killed, 847 wounded and 445 captured or missing. Union troops led by Maj. Gen. Gouverneur Warren had 546 casualties — with 50 killed, 335 wounded and 161 captured or missing.

Using QR codes, on excursions groups can explore the battle at seven stops along the 50-mile tour, taking some of the same roads traveled by soldiers during the Civil War.

The self-guided tour can last from a few hours to a full day, with the stops including Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park, Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre, Buckland Races, the Old Jail Museum in Warrenton and Battle of Rappahannock Station.

 “The Bristoe Mobile Tour is an innovative way to use technology to reach travelers and historians of all ages and it allows us to interpret many sites in detail for the first time,” said Rob Orrison, historic site operations supervisor for the Prince William County Historic Preservation Division, in a statement.

“The stops are along scenic roads, so we hope it attracts not just history lovers, but also those who visit the region for its scenery and rural landscapes.”

A variety of lectures, tours, exhibits and programs in September and October are commemorating the event.

On Oct. 5, groups can take motorcoach tours stopping at the battlefields and sites that were important to the 1863 campaign in commemoration of the battle. More events are planned Oct. 12 to 14, with living history demonstrations, encampments, lectures, tours and musical performances.

Prince William County and Manassas have been commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War with several events and a heritage trail.

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