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Historic Preservation
Bristoe Station Battlefield

Visit this historic and natural treasure at the corner of Iron Bridge Unit Avenue and Tenth Alabama Way in Bristow, VA.

Bristoe Station BattlefieldTours are free, except for special events.  Pricing varies for special events, please see calendar for details.  Donations to support historic preservation efforts in the County are always gratefully accepted.

Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park is one of Prince William County's most treasured open spaces. This peaceful 140 acre landscape features more than 2.7 miles of walking and equestrian trails. Wildlife abounds in the fields, woods, and ponds.

This land endured significant military activity during the Civil War. Learn more about battles, death and the history of Bristoe Station

  Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park. Photograph by Jim Lewis

History of Bristoe Station

A quiet section of Prince William County for hundreds of years, during the American Civil War two battles and numerous troop encampments occurred at Bristoe Station.  While small compared to other Civil War battles, the August 1862 Battle of Kettle Run and the October 1863 Battle of Bristoe Station produced hundreds of casualties that were felt from Minnesota to New York and from North Carolina to Louisiana.  Evidence of people who occupied this land remains in the park's road traces, buildings, and cemeteries.



Civil War Encampments


Drawn by the railroad and the nearby water supply, from 1861 through 1864 numerous encampments sprang up around Bristoe Station.  After 1st Manassas a large Confederate encampment known as Camp Jones spread throughout the fields at Bristoe.  Later many Federal camps were located here, with the largest being made by Pennsylvanians in 1863.  Learn more about the Civil War encampments at Bristoe Station .


Battle of Kettle Run


In August 1862 the Civil War returned to Prince William County.  As part of the 2nd Manassas Campaign, Confederate soldiers under Stonewall Jackson captured the railroad at Bristoe Station before capturing the warehouses of food at Manassas.  On the afternoon of August 27, 1862 the small, but deadly, Battle of Kettle Run was fought at Bristoe Station, the first of a series of battles known as 2nd Manassas.  Learn more about the Battle of Kettle Run.


Battle of Bristoe Station


In the fall of 1863 both the Northern and Southern armies were recuperating after the Battle of Gettysburg.  After troops from both armies were sent west to Tennessee, Confederate General Robert E. Lee attempted to repeat his 2nd Manassas Campaign.  Unlike the previous August, Lee's campaign was defeated on October 14, 1863 at the Battle of Bristoe Station.  Learn more about the Battle of Bristoe Station.

You can also follow the path of the battle on this Bristoe Station Battle Map.   You can also view moments in time and follow troop movement during this terrible battle:
Bristoe Campaign October 9 through 15, 1863
Troop positions on October 14, 1863 at 3 p.m.
Troop positions on October 14, 1863 at 3:30 p.m.
Troop positions on October 14, 1863 at 3:45 p.m.
Troop positions on October 14, 1863 at 4:15 p.m.
Visitors are invited to enjoy the A.P. Hill’s Folly self-guided walking trail. Stops along the trail highlight facets of the Oct. 14 1863 Battle of Bristoe Station. For your reference you may print  A.P. Hill's Folly Guide page 1 and A.P. Hill's Folly Guide page 2. Printed copies of the trail guide and battle map are also available at the Visitor Information kiosk located at the park.
We also offer the Kettle Run Trail Guide to follow the events of the Battle of Kettle Run. This was the first battle at Bristoe Station. It centered around the railroad. 


Bristoe Station Time Line


*1686/7 – 30,000 acre Brent Town Tract is established

*1737 – 7,500 acre Bristow Tract is created from the Brent Town Tract

*1776 – Commonwealth of Virginia confiscates the Bristow Tract from Robert Bristow

*1850 – Orange and Alexandria Railroad is installed. Bristoe Station is created.

*1861(August) - Camp Jones is established by the Confederate Army

*1862 (April) - Iron Brigade is caught in a snowstorm, establishes Camp Snow

*1862 (August 27) - Battle of Kettle Run

*1863 (October 14) - Battle of Bristoe Station

*1863 (November) – Pennsylvania Reserve Corps establish winter quarters at Bristoe Station.

*2004 - Centex Homes, Civil War Trust, and Prince William County collaborate to preserve 130 acres of the Bristoe Station Battlefield

*2007 – Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park opens to the public

Downloadable Podcast NOW AVAILABLE! 
We are pleased to offer a downloadable podcast to guide you and highlight points of interest as you tour Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park. Our goal is to ensure you have a meaningful and educational experience at this important historic site. Thank you for supporting historic preservation in Prince William County.
Take a Virtual Tour of Bristoe Station Battlefield
 Join local historians for new insight into this important battle site of the American Civil War as we take a virtual (video) tour of the battlefield. We also invite you to discover the natural beauty of this hallowed ground. 
Volunteers Needed! 
We are also looking for Civil War and Nature Enthusiasts to help with tours at this beautiful site. If you are interested in joining our team to protect the historic and natural resources of our community, please contact us at 703-366-3049.
Visiting Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park 
The parking lot is located off of Iron Brigade Unit Ave., Bristow, VA 20136, 703-366-3049.
Park grounds and trails are open every day from sunrise to sunset free of charge. Guided tours are offered at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on the second and fourth weekend of the month from May through October. Special group tours can be arranged by calling 703-366-3049. No restroom concessions or camping facilities are available on site.  
Bristoe Station Battlefield is located at the corner of Iron Brigade Unit Avenue and Tenth Alabama Way.
From Interstate 95: Take Rt. 234 North (Exit 152B); travel 7.5 miles and make a left onto Independent Hill Drive. Then make your immediate right onto Rt. 619 (Bristow Road). Travel 7 miles and turn left onto Iron Brigade Unit Avenue. The parking lot is located on your left at the traffic circle.
From Interstate 66: Take Rt. 234 South (Exit 44). Travel 4.5 miles and turn right onto Rt. 28 (Nokesville Road). Travel 1.5 miles and turn left onto Rt. 619 (Bristow Road). Travel .25 miles and turn right onto Iron Brigade Unit Avenue. The parking lot is located on your left at the traffic circle. 
For more information or to schedule a guided tour, call 703-366-3049.
For general information about historic preservation and sites in Prince William County, call 703-792-4754.
To return to our main page about historic preservation, click here.