Bull Run and Palmito Ranch

Civil Publications - Julian Caudillo

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The First Battle of Bull Run

21 July 1861


Union Army Commander Irvin McDowell had finally given in and had begun campaigning before the army's enlistment expiration. He also agreed to lead his army into war despite his hesitancy towards being victorious. However, General Joseph Johnston and his Army of the Shenandoah were prepared and eager to be victorious. General Thomas Jackson would later set up his artillery to aid McDowell in combat, yet the Confederates had a trick up their sleeve and had Brigadier General Beauregard to assist Johnston. While it seemed as though the Union was losing grasp of victory, Jackson kept his troops strong and exclaimed "Then we shall give them the bayonet!". To counter this statement, General Barnard Bee poked fun at Jackson which has earned him is nickname "Stonewall Jackson". With the aid of Beauregard, Johnston and the rest of the Confederate army were successful.


As a result, 2,700 Union soldiers and 2,000 Confederates have been declared dead on the battlefield. Beauregard was promoted to full General and his and Johnston's army have united as one. Meanwhile, McDowell has been replaced by George McClellan as Union General.

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Battle of Palmito Ranch

12-13 May 1865


The Battle of Palmito Ranch was the result of an agreement which precluded fighting between Union and Confederates on the Rio Grande. Union Colonel Theodore Barrett thought against this agreement and composed an expedition of 250 men under the command of David Branson to attack Rebel outposts in Brazos Santiago, Texas on May 11th, 1865. Due to foul weather, the arrival was much later than the initial goal for when to arrive. Once they arrived, the expedition found an absence of Rebels, so they decided on resting in thickets and bushes for lack of sleep. Around 8:30 am, people on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande reported to the Rebels of the Federals' whereabouts, so Branson prompted his men to attack a Confederate camp at Palmito Ranch. The Federals scattered the Confederates from the camp and restocked on food, however, a stronger and bolder Confederate wave of troops forced them out to White's Ranch. Branson informed Barrett of this event and Barrett reinforced Branson's army with 200 men from the 34th Indiana Volunteer Infantry. The now reinforced army returned to Palmito Ranch and torched all of the supplies that were left around. The army later fought and was claimed victor of a slight firefight. They later travelled to a bluff at Tulosa on the river to camp for the night. At 4 pm, a massive Confederate force commanded by John "Rip" Ford approached the site while the Federals set up a battle line. Since the Confederates were obliterating the Federal army, Barrett called for a retreat and surrender. This marked the finale of the Civil War and a victory for the Confederacy.