Another Important Reason for Historical Preservation

Yesterday I found several articles on Facebook announcing the discovery of a Surgeons Burial Pit at Manassas. As the article will explain this is the first discovery of this type of site, and it’s importance. Without the preservation of these land this sacred site would have more than likely, considering it’s location, been lost for ever. I’m not sure where the pit is located at Manassas and my bet is that it won’t revealed anytime soon. One source stated that the pit was in the vicinity of the Deep Cut further back in the Federal lines.

The graves and remains of fallen hero’s lie in the ground at these sites and need to be protected for ever. Too many have been bulldozed and desecrated.

One of our members has a personal interest in this battle. Brooks Lyles LCol (R) USA is a descendent of Capt John Penn who commanded the 42nd VA during the fighting at the Deep Cut. Less than a month later Penn would lose a leg during the fighting in the West Woods at Sharpsburg.

Col Penn

The general area of the “Deep Cut” is marked in black on the map.




2 thoughts on “Another Important Reason for Historical Preservation

  1. Thank you for posting and mentioning COL Penn! He commanded H Co of the 42nd throughout the Valley Campaign and assumed command of the 42nd after Cedar Mountain as the senior surviving captain. He commanded through 2nd Manassas, Harper’s Ferry and Sharpsburg where as you mentioned he was wounded in the opening hours in the fight with the Iron Brigade between the West Woods and Miller’s Cornfield, most likely by troops from the 19th Indiana who flanked their line. At the Deep Cut the 42nd served under the Brigade Command of Bradley Johnson of Maryland. The 42nd’s position was about 30-40 yards west of the Deep Cut so he would have been in the vicinity of the field hospital to his rear. Little could he imagine that in a month his leg would end up in a similar pit near the 5th Union Field Hospital at Sharpsburg. He was a prisoner at Fort McHenry until exchanged and he was promoted to Maj, LtCol and Col on the same date, post dated to the week before 2nd Manassas. The photo is from when he was a Virginia State Senator after the war. Attached is a picture of him as a Colonel.

    1. Thanks Brooks. As you know I’ve walked some of the ground he fought on. So far Cedsr Mtn is my favorite but I still need to get back to Sharpsburg and do the West Woods with the 42nd in mind.

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