First Battle of Bull Run

  • Also Known As: First Manassas

This was the first major land battle of the armies in Virginia. On July 16, 1861, the untried Union army under Brigadier General Irvin McDowell marched from Washington against the Confederate army, which was drawn up behind Bull Run beyond Centreville. On the 21st, McDowell crossed at Sudley Ford and attacked the Confederate left flank on Matthews Hill. Fighting raged throughout the day as Confederate forces were driven back to Henry Hill. Late in the afternoon, Confederate reinforcements (one brigade arriving by rail from the Shenandoah Valley) extended and broke the Union right flank. The Federal retreat rapidly deteriorated into a rout. Although victorious, Confederate forces were too disorganized to pursue. Confederate Gen. Bee and Col. Bartow were killed. Thomas J Jackson earned the nom de guerre "Stonewall." By July 22, the shattered Union army reached the safety of Washington. This battle convinced the Lincoln administration that the war would be a long and costly affair. McDowell was relieved of command of the Union army and replaced by Major General George B McClellan, who set about reorganizing and training the troops. - NPS



Y/M/D Description Place
1861/06/21 Confederate Army commandeers St Paul's to use as a hospital at the First Battle of Manassas. St Paul's Episcopal Church, Haymarket
1861/07/21 Manassas Battlefield Historic District - Stony Ridge, Sudley Springs
1861/07/21 Jackson earns 'Stonewall' moniker Manassas National Battlefield Park, Manassas
1861/07/21 Union cavalry commander at the First Battle of Bull Run, known as 'The Boy General' Manassas National Battlefield Park, Manassas
1861/07/21 18,000 Union troops battle 18,000 troops from Confederate States of America Manassas National Battlefield Park, Manassas

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