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FROM-- SET FOUR, CIVIL WAR STUDIES

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21 Readings About the Great Battles of the Civil War #2-- First and Second Battles of Bull Run (Manassas)

First and Second Battles of Bull Run (Manassas)

       Two battles of the Civil War were fought in northern Virginia near a small river called Bull Run and a town called Manassas Junction. First Bull Run was the first major battle of the war. Both the North and the South thought it might be the last.

First Battle of Bull Run

       The Union troops were commanded by Gen. Irvin McDowell; the Confederate army by Generals Joseph E. Johnston and Beauregard. The armies clashed on July 21, 1861.

       The first Union attack seemed to be successful. The Confederate lines fell back. Only Gen. Thomas Jackson's brigade stood like a stone wall. The Confederates were reinforced and McDowell's army retreated. The retreat became an unorganized flight back to Washington, D.C.

       First Bull Run had two far-reaching effects. The South rejoiced, but it also developed a false sense of security.

First Battle of Bull Run Fact Box

Date

July 21, 1861

Location

Fairfax County and Prince William County, Virginia

Result

Confederate victory

 

Belligerents

United StatesUnited States (Union)

Confederate States of AmericaConfederate States

Commanders and leaders

Strength

28–35,000 (18,000 engaged)

32–34,000 (18,000 engaged)

Casualties and losses

2,896

(460 killed
 1,124 wounded
 1,312 captured/missing)

1,982

(387 killed
 1,582 wounded
 13 missing)

Irvin McDowell
Robert Patterson

P. G. T. Beauregard
Joseph E. Johnston

First Battle of Bull Run, fought

       After First Bull Run there was a lull in the fighting in northern Virginia. Then in the spring of 1862 a series of battles in the east led to the second battle of Bull Run. The Confederate commanders in Second Bull Run were Gens. Jackson and James Longstreet under the overall command of Gen. Robert E. Lee. The Union commander was Gen. John Pope.

       The third (main) phase of Second Bull Run was fought on Aug. 29 to 30, 1862. Pope's army was drawn up along the Rappahannock to defend Washington. It faced Lee's two corps under Jackson and Longstreet. Pope advanced on Jackson, who pretended to retreat but held his ground until reinforced by Lee and Longstreet. The entire Confederate Army attacked the Union Army and forced it to retreat all the way back to Washington. The way was open for Lee to invade the North.


Second Battle of Bull Run (Second Manassas) Fact Box

 From Wikepedia at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Battle_of_Bull_Run


Second Battle of Bull Run, fought Aug. 29th 1862

Date

August 28–30, 1862

Location

Prince William County, Virginia

Result

Confederate victory

 

Belligerents

United StatesUnited States (Union)

Confederate States of AmericaCSA (Confederacy)

Commanders and leaders

John Pope

Robert E. Lee

Strength

62,000

50,000

Casualties and losses

approx. 10,000 killed and wounded

approx. 1,300 killed
approx. 7,000 wounded

 

2nd Battle of Bull Run Scene


A Letter from the First Battle of Bull Run

From Sullivan Ballou to his wife Sarah

July 14, 1861
Camp Clark, Washington  (Did not get mailed)
My Very Dear Sarah:
        The indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days—perhaps tomorrow. Lest I should not be able to write again, I feel impelled to write a few lines that may fall under your eye when I shall be no more . . .
         I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter. I know how strongly American Civilization now leans on the triumph of the Government and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the blood and sufferings of the Revolution. And I am willing—perfectly willing—to lay down all my joys in this life, to help maintain this Government, and to pay that debt . . .
         Sarah my love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me with mighty cables that nothing but Omnipotence could break; and yet my love of Country comes over me like a strong wind and bears me unresistibly on with all these chains to the battle field.
        The memories of the blissful moments I have spent with you come creeping over me, and I feel most gratified to God and to you that I have enjoyed them for so long. And hard it is for me to give them up and burn to ashes the hopes of future years, when, God willing, we might still have lived and loved together, and seen our sons grown up to honorable manhood, around us. I have, I know, but few and small claims upon Divine Providence, but something whispers to me—perhaps it is the wafted prayer of my little Edgar, that I shall return to my loved ones unharmed. If I do not my dear Sarah, never forget how much I love you, and when my last breath escapes me on the battle field, it will whisper your name. Forgive my many faults and the many pains I have caused you. How thoughtless and foolish I have often times been! How gladly would I wash out with my tears every little spot upon your happiness . . .
         But, O Sarah! If the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you; in the gladdest days and in the darkest nights . . . always, always, and if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath, as the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by. Sarah do not mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait for thee, for we shall meet again . . .

Sullivan Ballou was a lawyer and politician from Rhode Island, and an officer in the Union Army during the American Civil War. He is remembered for an eloquent letter he wrote to his wife one week before he was killed in the First Battle of Bull Run. Born: March 28, 1829, Smithfield, RI; Ballou was educated at Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass.; Brown University in Providence, R.I. and the National Law School in Ballston, N.Y. He was admitted to the Rhode Island Bar in 1853.    Died: July 29, 1861, Manassas, VA; Spouse: Sarah Ballou (m. 1855–1861)

Additional Biographical Note:  Ballou devoted his brief life to public service. He was elected in 1854 as clerk of the Rhode Island House of Representatives, later serving as its speaker.  He married Sarah Hart Shumway on October 15, 1855, and the following year saw the birth of their first child, Edgar. A second son, William, was born in 1859.  Ballou immediately entered the military in 1861 after the war broke out. He became judge advocate of the Rhode Island militia and was 32 at the time of his death at the first Battle of Bull Run on July 21, 1861.

From http://www.pbs.org/civilwar/war/ballou_letter.html


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