Manassas Journal Messenger | Civil War Trail signs to be dedicated Saturday

A special dedication ceremony to celebrate the installation of two Civil War Trail markers will take place 11:30 a.m. Saturday in Haymarket.

The signs were placed around the Haymarket Museum grounds.

The dedication will also mark the 142nd anniversary of the burning of the town, which took place Nov. 5, 1862, and is the subject of one of the signs.

The museum is located at the corner of Fayette and Washington streets and will be open for free from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Mark Trbovich of Manassas, a Civil War history buff, has been working with the Haymarket Historical Commission and museum staff to research and write the text, artwork and dedication ceremony for the two signs.

Trbovich said the first sign will give honor to the 17th and 8th Virginia regiments, which included many men from Haymarket. It will also tell of the epidemic which swept through the men of the 11th Alabama infantry as they lay hospitalized in St. Paul’s Church after the Second Battle of Manassas (or Bull Run) and burning of Haymarket in 1862.

The second sign tells of J.E.B. Stuart’s chance meeting with Union troops in Haymarket, June 25, 1863, on his way to Pennsylvania to meet up with Gen. Robert E. Lee. He was forced to take another route, thus causing the famous delay which kept him out of communication with Lee for eight days and causing impact to the plans for the Confederate troops at Gettysburg. Lee fought on ground not of his choosing.

Trbovich will be among the speakers tentatively scheduled to speak at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the signs. The others are Michelle Neal-Heard, chairman of the Historical Commission; Haymarket Mayor David P. Taylor and Prince William Board of County Supervisor John T. Stirrup, R-Gainesville.

Trbovich is a member of the Bull Run Civil War Round Table and has worked with Virginia Civil War Trails, along with other historians, to place markers at various area sites such as Blackburn’s Ford at the Prince William Fairfax County line just off Va. 28 in 2001 and the Battle of Bull Run Railroad Bridge, at Liberia and Conner Houses in 2003. The signs are designed to withstand all kinds of weather.

Trbovich wants to get all of the county’s Civil War sites marked by the 150th anniversary of the First Battle of Manassas in July 2011. That’s at least 20 to 25 more markers.

“I want people from around the world to come to the sites to find out what happened here,” Trbovich said. “It’s a labor of love, a lot of fun. I love those signs. I also hope they show how many people died in the battles and that we never have another similar war. I don’t want people to forget how bad the war was. The signs tell a story for future generations.”

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