In the two battles fought on these grounds in Manassas in 1861 & 62, over 25,000 Americans were killed. In the first battle, people from Washington, DC, brought picnic baskets thinking that the northern victory would be quick and without great chaos. Of course, it wasn't...troops from the south defeated the untried and untrained troops from the north and the first major land battle of the civil war was over, a harbinger of the death and carnage to come. I think the best time to visit these grounds is in the morning, as close to dawn as possible. Major thoroughfares are just over the hill and yet, the battlefield environment exudes silence and respect for the fallen.