The Manassas National Battlefield, managed by the National Park Service site, saw the first major land battle of the American Civil War. The Civil War lasted from 1861-1865. The war killed more than one million people through violence, disease, and imprisonment; yet by its conclusion, more than 4 million people were emancipated from slavery.
The southern Confederates sought to secede from the United States for a variety of reasons, but a primary motivator was to preserve the institution of slavery. The South’s economy and social institutions relied on the labor of enslaved people, primarily those of African descent. The northern Union defied these secessionist attempts and fought to preserve the nation as one country. In the North, slavery was outlawed in 1804, and it was illegal to import enslaved people to the United States after 1808. July 21, 1861 marks the first major land battle fought between the Union and Confederacy. According to the National Park Service, “heavy fighting swept away any notion of a quick war. In August 1862, Union and Confederate armies converged for a second time on the plains of Manassas. The Confederates won a solid victory bringing them to the height of their power.” Over the years of war that followed, the Union prevailed. In 1863, halfway through the war, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which stated “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious states “are, and henceforward shall be free.” More than 4 million survivors escaped slavery.
The Mary Jane Dogan House is significant for its association with the monumental battle at Manassas. Learn more here. Historic sites like the Manassas National Battlefield are preserved so that future generations understand significant events of the past and work to build a better future. The house was studied in-depth as part of the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) at the Library of Congress. Watch an incredible video of the house’s interior and exterior in the video at the right.
HistoriCorps is committed to educating and training volunteers in preservation skills, with an overarching mission of inspiring a preservation ethic in all those involved. Learning and working alongside expert HistoriCorps field staff, volunteers learned these traditional skills necessary to restore the Mary Jane Dogan House:
- HistoriCorps volunteers stabilized the building and restored the foundation.