Manassas equals history. And here, it all begins with the railroad.
Completed in 1852, rails linking Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. with the Shenandoah Valley and Richmond created Manassas Junction that evolved into Manassas. Confederate troops used those rails as they arrived here to fight in the First Battle of Manassas (or First Battle of Bull Run) on July 21, 1861. It marked the first time in history that troops were transported by rail for impending battle. This battle became known as the first major land battle of the 1861-1865 American Civil War, which is now preserved Federal parkland: the Manassas National Battlefield Park, only five miles northwest. Thirteen months later – August 28-30, 1862 – the Second Battle of Manassas (or Second Battle of Bull Run) broke out on those same fields.
Confederate General P. G. T. Beauregard and Union General Irwin McDowell used nearby Liberia House (about a mile from the railroad junction) as headquarters in 1861 and 1862, respectively. Presidents Jefferson Davis and Abraham Lincoln visited their army's generals during their commands at Liberia, a City-owned park.
When the Civil War ended, the settlement at the junction grew into the Town of Manassas, which was chartered in 1873. In 1975, it became the City of Manassas, an independent city in the Commonwealth. Thankfully, the City has retained its historical character, emerging as a popular destination choice.