First Battle of American Civil War

October 11, 2013
First Battle of Bull Run Kurz
Maps of Bull RunKindle Available
The Maps of First Bull Run: An Atlas of the First Bull Run (Manassas) Campaign, including the Battle of Ball's Bluff, June-October 1861
"action-sections" enriched with more than fifty full-color original full-page maps.

History Channel Presents
The Civil War
From Harper's Ferry, Fort Sumter, and First Bull Run to Shiloh, Antietam, and Gettysburg. The most legendary Civil War battles in brilliant detail. DVD

The Battle of First Bull Run: The Civil War Begins
Three months after the shelling of Fort Sumter, Union and Confederate forces met for the first time in earnest combat. However, neither side was prepared at this early stage of the war, and confusion reigned on the battlefield

Fields of Fury
The American Civil War

Jeb Stuart: The Last Cavalier
Biography of the dashing Confederate general is history at its best: fascinating, colorful, provocative. Includes portraits of Stuart's early life, training at West Point, the fateful decision to side with the South and action-packed battle scenes. 7 maps. 8 pages of photos.

Bull Run Manassas July 1861 Joseph E. Johnston
A Civil War Biography
A biography of the public and private life of General Joseph E. Johnston, one of the most important Southern field commanders during the American Civil War

P.G.T. Beauregard: Napoleon in Gray
Beauregard often gets overlooked, he was never as beloved as Lee or Stonewall Jackson, but he was capable, the man had a sharp mind and Lee understood this, even if Jefferson Davis did not

A curious thing about McDowell's enterprise at Bull Run is that one may fairly say that it was foreordained to failure, and yet conclude that it came within inches of success. Wholly untrained in the higher branches of the military art, he was compelled, by the force of circumstances, to operate with an army that was entirely unfit for active campaigning; but he had an opponent no better than himself, and the chief difference between two armies that both lacked the distinctive qualities of a field force resolved itself into that which lay between the disadvantage of the offensive and the benefit of the defensive.

In some ways McDowell did better than his critics have allowed. To move such an army at all, to get it concentrated at Centreville, to throw a wing of 17, 000 men over Bull Run, meant much hard work and hard driving. And yet, as we have seen, all this fell entirely short of what was needed for success. Rapidity of action was essential, and at no moment, at no point, did McDowell show any tendency of the sort, - rather the contrary.

It is perhaps fairer to emphasize that McDowell had had no training or experience in the difficult art of generalship, than to say that he displayed no sign of possessing military qualities. It was certainly not easy for a junior officer in a military service that gave neither practical nor theoretical training to its higher ranks, when suddenly promoted to the command of an army to assume all the superiority and decision, to display all the science, that such a function demands. It is not surprising that he took too much advice, and deferred too much to the views of subordinates whose judgments, on the whole, do not appear to have been as good as his own.

Bull Run Manassas July 21 morning click to enlarge

In bringing his troops into contact with the enemy McDowell showed little tactical sense. His order of the 20th of July showed gross inability to handle marching arrangements. But he did better than his opponents in utilizing a considerable part of his forces for delivering his blow. His employment both of his guns and of his infantry was far from good. Griffin's and Ricketts' batteries were recklessly exposed; his infantry brigades were allowed to become mere supports for the artillery, and to go into action as strings of regiments employed one...

History Documentary: American Civil War - Battle Of Gettysburg
History Documentary: American Civil War - Battle Of Gettysburg
American Civil War Music (Union) - Battle Hymn of the Republic
American Civil War Music (Union) - Battle Hymn of the Republic
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