Stone Bridge


Return to SR 234, turn right (north) and drive .5 mile to the Stone House and Route 29. There turn right (east) and drive 1.2 miles to the Stone Bridge. Notice the ridges perpendicular to the road used as positions by the Federal rear guard. Turn left into the Stone Bridge parking lot and walk to the east side of the bridge.

Federal units had been leaving the field eastward for several hours, when at 2000 Pope ordered a general withdrawal. Sigel's Corps was the last out with Schenck's Division bringing up the rear. He later told Sigel,

about 8 o'clock you ordered me to withdraw Colonel Schimmelfennig's brigade and to march with my whole command across Young's Branch, two pieces of Captain Dilger's battery and one of my regiments forming the rear guard of the corps. For this office the Sixty-first Ohio was selected—a regiment which throughout the whole campaign had exhibited the most commendable spirit. According to your order I passed the bridge across Young's Branch about 9 o'clock, and took position with your whole corps on the hilly ground between Young's Branch and Bull Run. Colonel Schimmelfennig furnished from his command the necessary guards and outposts along Young's Branch and in the direction of the Bull Run Ford. There we remained over two hours, and after all other troops had passed Bull Run, and the road was clear of wagons for several miles, you ordered your corps to resume its march toward Centreville. We crossed the Stone Bridge between 11 and 12 o'clock. You ordered me to take position on the left of the road, front toward the creek, while General Stahel did the same on the right, throwing out our outposts on the other side of the creek and placing Captain Dilger's two pieces so as to command the bridge. Some time afterward one of General McDowell's officers informed you that we were threatened by the enemy on our left.

About 1 o'clock a.m. you ordered your corps to resume its march. My First Brigade, under Colonel Schimmelfennig, was to form the rear guard and was instructed to destroy the bridge. Colonel Kane, of the Pennsylvania Bucktail Rifles, reported himself to you with a battalion of his men and several pieces of artillery which he had picked up on the road. The bridge was destroyed some time after I o'clock and we marched toward Centreville, taking with us Colonel Kane's promiscuous pieces of artillery behind the first regiment of Colonel Schimmelfennig's brigade. I rejoined you about 3 o'clock a.m. 2 miles from Centreville.

This concludes the guided tour. You can return to Washington by continuing east on Route 29 from the Stone Bridge to Centreville, where signs will direct you along Route 28 to 1-66. Route 29 west will get you to 1-66 by way of SR 234 south or farther west at Gainesville.

We hope that as you leave these now quiet fields a greater understanding of the sacrifices made by the men who fought here has enhanced your appreciation of our national ideals. These soldiers' dedication, courage, and conviction serve as an inspiration to this day. The land itself stands as their monument.