Fist battle of bull run
Civil War battles often had one name in the North , which was usually associated with a prominent nearby physical feature, and another in the South , which was usually derived from the town or city closest to the battlefield. The strategic significance of the location lay in the fact that Manassas was an important railroad junction. Robert E. Lee , commanding the Virginia state forces, was loath to become the aggressor in the expanding conflict and refrained from attacking Washington or supporting Confederate sympathizers in Baltimore. Abraham Lincoln had proclaimed a blockade of Confederate ports April 19 and called for 42, three-year volunteers and 40, more men to join the regular army and navy May 3. Although Winfield Scott , the commanding general of the Union army, had little faith in state militia units, he proposed to use them to defend Washington and recover the Federal garrison at Harpers Ferry , while he trained the newly raised volunteers for an autumn campaign.
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Battle Of Bull Run
Battle Of Bull Run
Union: Brig. Irvin McDowell Confederate: Brig. Joseph E. Union: 28, Confederate: Beauregard: 21, Johnston: 8,
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First Battle of Manassas
Known as the First Battle of Bull Run or Manassas , the engagement began when about 35, Union troops marched from the federal capital in Washington, D. After fighting on the defensive for most of the day, the rebels rallied and were able to break the Union right flank, sending the Federals into a chaotic retreat towards Washington. The Confederate victory gave the South a surge of confidence and shocked many in the North, who realized the war would not be won as easily as they had hoped. By July , two months after Confederate troops opened fire on Fort Sumter to begin the Civil War , the northern press and public were eager for the Union Army to make an advance on Richmond ahead of the planned meeting of the Confederate Congress there on July Encouraged by early victories by Union troops in western Virginia , and by the war fever spreading through the North, President Abraham Lincoln ordered Brigadier General Irvin McDowell to mount an offensive that would hit quickly and decisively at the enemy and open the way to Richmond, thus bringing the war to a mercifully quick end.
On July 16, , the new Union volunteer army under Brig. Pierre G. Beauregard, drawn up behind Bull Run creek west of Centreville. Beauregard's men defended the strategic railroad junction at Manassas, just west of the creek.