The Battle Of The Civil War

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Abstract: As the first major battle of the Civil War the First Battle of Bull Run was an end to the illusions of a quick war and instead offered a first glimpse into the long and bloody four-year struggle the Civil War would become. In this paper the battle and its many repercussions across the political, social and military spectrum of the Union and Confederacy will be explored. Background: With the formation of the Confederate States and the outbreak of hostilities at Ft. Sumter only a few months earlier there was both political and popular pressure on both sides to commence hostilities and bring the war to a quick conclusion. Both sides believed that a few decisive battles would settle the matter and in the southern opinion would…show more content…
Sumter. In response to these factors President Lincoln directed General McDowell to devise a plan to attack the Confederates. In response the General drew up a plan to engage the rebels at Manassas Junction, Va. While McDowell had confidence in his plan he wasn’t as confident in his men who at the time were green and untested by battle. McDowell asked for more time to train his troops but the political pressure and popular opinion prevented any delays. This sentiment is evident in the words of Union Quartermaster-General Meigs who stated, “it’s better to whip them here…to make fight in Virginia was cheaper and the better case” (McPherson pg336). In this assessment Lincoln agreed and directed McDowell to commence his offensive as planned stating, “You are green it is true…but they are green also, you are all green alike”. (McPherson pg. 336) Prelude to Battle: In June of 1861 McDowell presented his plan to Lincoln and the Cabinet to engage the flank of the 24,000 Confederates forces stationed at Bull Run Creek about 25 miles South West of Washington, DC. This Confederate force was commanded by General Beauregard, the hero of Ft Sumter which gave the plan an added benefit of a bit revenge. McDowell’s plan of attack was to use 35,000 Union Troops advancing in three separate columns with 10,000 troops held in reserve to engage a combined Confederate Army stationed
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