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First Battle of Bull Run

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This is my last discussion board question from my American History class.  The class is over and I got an A.  Did I mention that already?  Anyway, for the next eight weeks I’ll be taking a class on Ancient Rome, so the focus of this blog will shift for a while.  I am hoping to finish part three of the WWI question soon, so look for that as well.

1) How does the USA commonly refer the battle to (what is it called)? Is there a different name that CSA used for the battle? [Most Civil War battles have two names – one the North used and one the South used]

The battle is known as the Battle of Bull Run, or sometimes the First Battle of Bull Run as there were two battles in the same area. In the CSA it was known as the Battle of Manassas or Frist Battle of Manassas.

2) What were the events that lead to the battle? In other words how did the course of the war lead to this battle? [This should be several paragraphs long and explain the strategic and tactical considerations at that point.]

Bull Run was the first major engagement of the Civil War, after Fort Sumter. In July of 1861 a sizeable Confederate force under the command of General Beauregard was stationed just 25 miles from Washington D.C. at Masnassas Junction. The newspapers and the public were calling for action soon, but Union General Irvin McDowell knew his army was not prepared yet for battle. President Lincoln however encouraged him to strike the also green, and smaller, Confederate force. Lincoln’s hope was that a Union victory would lead to a speedy capture of Richmond and would thus end the war. McDowell gave in and commenced attack on July 21.

McDowell’s plan was to attack Beauregards main force of about 20,000 men with his approximately 30,000. Meanwhile, a Union force of about 18,000 would keep the 9,000 men of the Confederate Army of Shenandoah under Joseph Johnston at bay.

As the Union army marched toward the enemy, they were trailed by citizens of Washington who brought along picnic baskets to lunch on while they watched the battle.

The Federals at first had the advantage, hitting the Confederate left which was only held by a brigade of 600. The line was reinforced, but soon crumbled. As the men were fleeing they came upon Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson’s Virginia Regiment. Jackson refused to retreat and was determined to give the advancing Federals “the bayonet.” Jackson’s stand served to reverse the battle and the advancing Unionists were met with intense fire and soon broke and ran, literally, back to Washington D.C.

3) Where and when did the battle take place?

The battle took place July 21, 1861 near Manassas Junction in Virginia.

4) Who were the commanders on both sides?

For the Union, the commanders were Irvin McDowell and Major General Robert Patterson. For the Confederates the commanders were General Beauregard, General Johnston, and Stonewall Jackson.

5) How large and what type of forces were on both sides? List the number of soldiers. If there were ships, what were the names of the ships and what kind of ships were they?

Both sides had forces of about 30,000 troops. Most were infantry.

6) What was the aftermath of the battle? In other words how did this battle affect the course of the war? [This should be several paragraphs long and explain the short term and long term affects.]

Immediately after the battle, there’s was fear in Washington that the Confederate army would march to the capital unmolested. This did not happen. The battle shattered any hopes of a quick war. Lincoln replaced General McDowell with George McClellan who would build up a strong force around Washington, but was reluctant to put it into action.

7) List your sources in APA format

First BAttle of Bull Run. n.d. Retrieved on January 20, 2007 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Battle_of_Bull_Run.

Kennedy, David, Cohen, Lizabeth, Bailey, Thomas. The American Pageant. 2002. Houghton Mifflin: New York

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