The First Battle of Bull Run was the first large scale land battle of the Civil War. On this page you will find interesting information and facts listed that will give a good overall summary of the battle and provide answers to such questions as:
Where did the Battle of Bull Run take place?
When did the Battle of Bull Run take place?
Why was the first Battle of Bull Run important?
Who won the battle?
What was the significance and results of the battle?
The date of the battle was July 21st, 1861, near the city of Manassas in Virginia. Manassas is approximately twenty five miles from Washington D.C. and near Bull
The battle was called Manassas by the Confederates and Bull Run by the Union. The Confederates tended to name battles after nearby towns where as the Union
commonly named battles after rivers and creeks that played a role in the battle.
Union troops were led by General Irvin McDowell the Southerners were commanded by General P. G. T. Beauregard.
The Union troops reached the battlefield after an exhausting two day march from Washington D.C. in extremely hot muggy weather.
The Northerners crossed Bull Run (at Sudley Ford) and attacked the Southerners left flank on Matthews Hill.
At first the Union troops took the upper hand driving the Confederates back to Henry Hill.
Due to poor coordination of attacks by the Union commander and the arrival of Confederate reinforcements, the Confederates turned the tide of battle and won.
A major factor in turning the battle into a Southern victory was Thomas J. Jackson who reinforced General Bee's men who were retreating. As Jackson held his ground
firm General Bee shouted "Look at Jackson standing there like a stone wall". From there on out Jackson would be called Stonewall Jackson and would become one of the
legendary figures of the war.
The Union retreat would turn into a panicked rout leaving Northern soldiers fleeing for their lives back to the safety of Washington D.C.
Battle of Bull Run - Statistics
460 Union deaths
1,124 Union wounded
1,312 Union missing or captured
387 Confederate deaths
1,582 Confederate wounded
13 Confederate missing
Battle of Bull Run - Significance
Bull Run was the largest battle in American history up to that point.
The battle served as a wakeup call for the North. It dismissed any thoughts that the war would be short and that the Confederates would not put up much resistance.
The day after the battle President Lincoln signed a bill that made way for the enlistment of an additional 500,000 soldiers.
Confederate commander Beauregard was hailed as the hero of the battle. He was promoted to full general in the Confederate Army.
Union commander Irvin McDowell was blamed for the Union defeat. He was soon replaced by Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan as commander of the Union forces.
One of the most interesting Battle of Bull Run facts is that many spectators made their way to watch the battle. Reporters, government officials, and average
citizens packed lunches and made a day of it. The day took a turn for the worse as these spectators got caught up in the craziness of the Union retreat.
Bull Run was the first battle in American history where railroads were utilized for the transport of soldiers. In fact it played a key role in the Confederate
victory, allowing reinforcements to rapidly reach the battle field.