The First Battle of Bull Run Essay examples

759 Words Oct 22nd, 1999 4 Pages
THE FIRST BATTLE OF BULL RUN

BY COLLINS MCKAY

On July 21, 1861, two armies, one confederate and the other Union, prepared for the first major land battle of the Civil War. In 1861 Abraham Lincoln was sworn in as President.

The Southern states had seceded and the South had fired on and captured Fort Sumter on April 12 1861.

After the Fort Sumter battle, both the North and the South began preparing for war by raising armies. This was done quickly and neither side spent much time training the troops. Both sides also did not know what a long and terrible war was ahead.

The first Battle of Bull Run took place near Manassas Junction, Virginia, an important railroad junction twenty five miles west of Washington, D.C. Bull Run
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General McDonnell attempted to flank the Confederates by moving north and west, and began several attacks on the Confederates right flank and the center of the Confederate line at Henry House.

As the battle wore on, the superior numbers of the Union Army began to wear down the Confederate lines. At a critical point, as the Confederates began to fall back, an officer pointed out a line of rebels who were still strong. He said, "look at Jackson's men standing like a stone wall". He was talking about General T. J. Jackson's men. Jackson would from then on be known as "Stonewall Jackson", one of the most famous of all Confederate generals. This seemed to inspire the Southern troops at Henry House who held their ground and began to beat back the Union forces.

On the west flank the Union troops who had been moving slowly were pushed back by General Johnston's troops who arrived in the afternoon by railroad. Civilian spectators had come out from Washington to watch the battle. They thought it would be like a sporting event. As the battle turned against the North, they panicked and the one road back to Washington became clogged with overturned carriages and wagons. The Union retreat had turned into panic by early evening.

In the end, the North had suffered 2,896 men killed wounded or missing; the South had lost 1,982. The South had won the big victory in the first major