The First Battle Of Bull Run Essay

This essay has a total of 752 words and 4 pages.

The First Battle Of Bull Run


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 Creek twisted and
turned through Manassas Junction. The Shenandoah Valley, a Southern stronghold was thirty
miles to the northwest of Manassas Junction. Both the Bull Run Creek and the nearby
Shenandoah Valley gave the South two advantages in this battle.

In July 1861, tow armies faced each other in Northern Virginia. General Irvin McDowell,
commander of the Union Army of the Potomac had 31,000 men in Washington. General
Beauergard of the Confederate Army had 20,000 troops camped around Manassas Junction.

To the north, near Harriers Ferry, Confederate General Joseph Johnston with 9,000 soldiers
faced off with Union General Patterson who was dug in with 18,000 troops. These are forces
that would be involved in the First Battle of Bull Run.

On July 18, 1861, General McDowell's Army of the Potomac marched from Washington toward
Manassas Junction for battle. The Confederates at Manassas knew far ahead of this action
due to many Southern spies in Washington. The Southern troops spread in lines along eight
miles of Bull Run Creek. The heaviest Southern troops were on a ridge around Henry House.
After a few skirmishes, the Union Army arrived at Bull Run on July 21, 1861.

As the Union Army approached Bull Run, General Johnston's army faked an attack at Harpers
Ferry. As the 18,000 Union troops dug in for assault, the Southern forces jumped on rail
cars and headed for Bull Run to reinforce the Confederate Army.

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
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