In the summer of 1861, enthusiastic volunteers in colorful uniforms gathered to fight the first major land battle of the war. Confident that their foes would turn and run, neither side anticipated the smoke, din and death of battle.
"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. 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 (one brigade arriving by rail from the Shenandoah Valley) extended and broke the Union right flank. The Federal retreat rapidly deteriorated into a rout. Although victorious, Confederate forces were too disorganized to pursue. Confederate Gen. Bee and Col. Bartow were killed. Thomas J. Jackson earned the nom de guerre “Stonewall.” By July 22, the shattered Union army reached the safety of Washington. This battle convinced the Lincoln administration that the war would be a long and costly affair. McDowell was relieved of command of the Union army and replaced by Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan, who set about reorganizing and training the troops. "
Source: CWSAC Battle Summary
Source: CWSAC First Battle of Bull Run [PDF, p 158]
The battlefield has been preserved.
The First Manassas battlefield has been preserved by the National Parks Service and is part of the Manassas.
Visit the official park web site at
Map of the Battlefield showing the locations of the markers?
monuments documented by CWBFM on the battlefield. (Map Monuments
This page originally submitted by Byron Hooks of Sandy Springs, GA, on August 08, 2014. This page has been viewed 1210 time(s) since then. This page has been updated 2 time(s) since then.
The page was last updated by Byron Hooks of Sandy Springs, GA, on February 26, 2021.
BG Hooks was the editor who published this page on August 13, 2014.