On this day: Bull Run

by Gerelyn Hollingsworth

View Author Profile

Join the Conversation

Send your thoughts to Letters to the Editor. Learn more

On this day, 150 years ago, Confederate forces defeated Union Army troops at Manassas, Virginia, in the first major battle of the Civil War.

Click here and scroll down halfway for a video of the First Battle of Bull Run, at which "Stonewall" Jackson earned his nom de guerre.

Click here for an animation of the battle.

Click here for images of the First Battle of Bull Run.

At Manassas today, the commemoration of the Sesquicentennial begins.

Among the chaplains present at Bull Run was Father George Hobart Doane, a Catholic priest who had been an Episcopalian deacon before his conversion.

Daughters of Charity nursed the wounded of both armies and their prisoners in their hospitals in Richmond and in Washington, D.C. Page 12.

Click here to see an "Original manuscript listing of casualties suffered by the 11th Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers at the Battle of Bull Run, the first major land battle of the Civil War, in the hand of Adjutant Brownell Granger", offered by Bauman Rare Books.

Many Irishmen fought for the Union. Click here for "The Irish Brigade", by D. Kincaid. From that:

"ON JULY 21st, 1861, Captain Thomas Francis Meagher of the 69th New York State Militia had his horse shot from under him by a round of cannon-fire. Meagher, that day acting as major for the regiment, sprang to his feet and shouted, 'Boys! look at that flag--remember Ireland and Fontenoy.'

"This was the battle of Bull Run, and the first major engagement of the American Civil War. The Federal army was badly beaten and routed but the Irish Sixty-ninth, an old pre-war militia regiment, had charged bravely and stubbornly held its ground. Even after its commander, Colonel Michael Corcoran, was wounded and captured, the Sixty-ninth as part of the rear guard retreated in good order while panicked Union soldiers swarmed around them. Union commander General Irvin McDowell personally thanked them for their gallantry."

Click here for more about the Irish Brigade at Bull Run and at other battles in the Civil War and in other wars.

Click here for "The Irish Volunteer: Songs of the Irish Union Soldier, 1861-1865." The songs may be sampled, and there are other albums of Civil War songs on the page.

Many African-Americans, over 200,000, fought for the Union in the Civil War. Some fought for the Confederacy, too. Click here for "Blacks in Gray". From that:

“The state of Virginia, with the largest number of free blacks in the South was using African-American soldiers as early as the battle of Bull Run (Manassas), and in that first major battle of the war an integrated artillery unit known as the Richmond Howitzers had served with distinction, suffering a number of casualties in the Confederate victory.”

Latest News


1x per dayDaily Newsletters
1x per weekWeekly Newsletters
2x WeeklyBiweekly Newsletters