The First Battleof ManassasOn a hot summer day in July of 1861 therestood about 30,000 Union troops lead by General Irvin McDowell ready tomarch out and capture Richmond and end the war. For the troops wereyoung volunteers and thought that the battle would only last one day. But they were wrong for the battle of Manassas or otherwise known as BullRun lasted more then one day the battle lasted six days instead.
The Confederates had 22,000 men who were headed by Gen. Pierre G. T. Beauregard,Gen. Joseph E.
Johnston, Col. Nathan Evans, Barnard Bee, Col. Francis Bartow,and Gen. Thomas J. Jackson. As the Union army marched towards Richmondthey had little knowledge of what the war would mean.Order now
For all theyknew was that the war would only last one day and they would go home. General McDowell had a plan to seize the railroad junction at Manassas,so he would have a better approach to the Confederate’s Capital. As the Union was trying to devise a plan to seize the railroad junctionthe Confederate troops were guarding the fords of Bull Run. McDowell’sarmy marched his men from Washington against the Confederate army, andended up behind Bull Run Beyond Centreville on July 18. On July 18th Gen. McDowell moved towardthe unions right flank, but he was stopped at Blackburn’s Ford and he spentthe next two days scouting the southerns left flank.
While Gen. McDowellwas scouting the flanks at Blackburn’s ford, Gen. Beauregard asked theConfederate Government at Richmond for assists, and they ordered Gen. JosephE. Johnston stationed in the Shenandoah Valley with his 10,000 troops togo and support Beauregard. Now Gen.
Johnston gathered his men a headedtoward the Manassas Junction, most of the troops arrived on July 20 and21. The battle begins on the morning of July21; McDowell sent his troops to march north toward Sudley Springs. McDowell created a decoy attack at the stone bridge where Warrenton Turnpikecrossed Bull Run, to distract southerners. At Approximately 5:30AM a loud single shot was fired which signaled the battle. As McDowell’smen headed towards Matthews Hill, Col.
Nathan Evans realized that the attackat Stone Bridge was only a diversion, so he sent his command rushing towardsMatthews Hill to head off McDowell’s army. But Evans Army was too weakand couldn’t hold back the Union for long. Brigadier General BarnardBee and Colonel Francis Bartow went to go assist Evans men but their reinforcementswere weak as well and the Union destroyed the Southerners lines and headedtoward Henry Hill. Gen. Bee called on the assistance of Gen. Thomas J.
Jackson’s brigade to control the lines and hold back the Unionfrom going any further. This spot is where Gen, Thomas J. Jacksongot his nickname “Stonewall” because Gen. Bee shouted, “There standsJackson like a stone wall!”The Union stopped the confederate’s attacks,but the battle lasted long enough for the confederates to reenforce theirlines.
Both sides where battling back and forth trying to force oneor the other off Henry Hill. The confederates took out the Unionsright flank on the Chinn Ridge, which caused McDowell’s unit to retreatback across Bull Run, where the roads were crowed with people trying tosee the battle. In all the confusion of the battle Gen. Bee and Col. Bartow die in action, and Gen. Stonewall takes command and attacks.
The Union retreated all the way back toWashington and the Confederates on the Battle of Bull Run. Even thoughit was a battle that people wouldn’t think that would last long it wasvery costly. Which made Lincoln’s administration have to replaceMcDowell with a new Maj. General George B. McClellan, who had a differentapproach on the battles then that of McDowell.
Gen. McClellan needsto train his troops and reorganize his tactics.