first bull run

bull run

first bull run

location : Virginia

Forces involved: This was the first major land battle of the armies in Virginia. On July 16, 1861, the untried Union army under Brig. Gen. Irvin McDowell marched from Washington against the Confederate army, which was drawn up behind Bull Run beyond Centreville.

First bull run

Thursday, May 12th, 9pm

Virginia, United States

VA

On the 21st, McDowell crossed at Sudley Ford and attacked the Confederate left flank on Matthews Hill. Fighting raged throughout the day as Confederate forces were driven back to Henry Hill. Late in the afternoon, Confederate reinforcements extended and broke the Union right flank. The Federal retreat rapidly deteriorated into a rout.

Thomas J. Jackson earned the nom de guerre “Stonewall.” By July 22, the shattered Union army reached the safety of Washington.

first bull run

Outcome : On July 21, 1861, 35,000 Union troops led by Brigadier General Irvin McDowell faced off against more than 20,000 Confederates under Brigadier General P.G.T. Beauregard near a railroad junction at Manassas, Virginia, 25 miles from Washington, D.C. The First Battle of Bull Run, also known as Manassas, was the first major land battle of the American Civil War. To commemorate the battle’s 150th anniversary, we asked HISTORY’s chief historian Libby O’Connell about its significance and what every American can do to help preserve our shared history.

first bull run

significance : To commemorate the battle’s 150th anniversary, we asked HISTORY’s chief historian Libby O’Connell about its significance and what every American can do to help preserve our shared history.


commanders : Popular fervor led President Lincoln to push a cautious Brigadier General Irvin McDowell, commander of the Union army in Northern Virginia, to attack the Confederate forces commanded by Brigadier General P.G.T. Beauregard, which held a relatively strong position along Bull Run, just northeast of Manassas Junction.


casualties : he Union’s greatest losses were in the "missing" category, where they sustained 100 times the number that the victorious Confederates did. Some of the men who routed decided they’d had enough of soldiering, but many Federal soldiers were taken prisoner and sent to Richmond.