5. Soldiers Remains and Limb Pit Discovery at Manassas National Battlefield Park (MNBP)


During a planned MNBP utility excavation in October 2014, the archeologist monitoring the work recovered bone fragments from the project site, suggesting the presence of disarticulated human remains consistent with the use of the site as a field hospital, resulting in the recommendation for further archeological testing to confirm the interpretation and to determine the relationship among the archeological feature, artifacts, and human remains

In October 2015, NPS archeologists and contract archeologists conducted further testing at the site and discovered two nearly intact sets of skeletal remains mingled with amputated limbs, and 

made the decision to conduct a program of data recovery to excavate the remains which were then transported to the NPS Museum Resource Center

In April 2016, the NPS transferred the recovered remains to the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) for forensic analysis, resulting in findings that the remains were associated with Union casualties from the Second Battle of Manassas. The two sets of remains were determined to be Union soldiers from the New England area, and likely from upstate NY

In the Spring of 2016, the NPS initiated contact with Army National Military Cemeteries 

(ANMC), regarding the eligibility of the soldiers’ remains for interment in Arlington National Cemetery

ANMC contacted HQ, Department of the Army (HQDA), and soon thereafter HQDA and NPS entered agency-level discussions, under the auspices of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP), regarding the discoveries and appropriate disposition procedures and NPS responsibilities under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA).

Current Status:

Federal Agencies involved:

Consulting Parties