"battle of bull run" Top 5 Page for this destination Manassas National Battlefield Park by doug48

first battle of bull run

the first battle of bull run also known as the first battle of manassas was the first major battle of the civil war. the confederate army of the potomac commanded by general p. g. t. beauregard assembled near the town of manassas junction about 25 miles west of the union capital of washington. union general irvin mc dowell marched his 28,000 man army of northern virginia from washington to centerville virginia. on july 21 st 1861 mc dowell marched west on the warrenton turnpike to meet the confederates. the union met the confederates at the stone bridge and matthew's hill and forced them to withdrawl south to henry hill. union captain james ricketts' artillery bombarded henry hill held by the forces of confederate general barnard bee and colonel francis bartow. later in the battle general thomas jackson, colonel wade hampton, and j. e. b. stuart reinforced bee's position. jackson refused to withdrawl from henry hill and general bee told his troops " there stands jackson like a stone wall". after a fierce artillery duel between jackson's forces and ricketts' battery jackson ordered his troops to charge rickett's position. the confederates captured ricketts' guns and turned them on the union. the capture of rickett's guns was a turning point in the battle and forced the union to retreat back to washington. the first battle of bull run was a decisive confederate victory and made general jackson a "cult" hero in the south.
my "things to do" pages 1 through 11 is a virtual tour of the first battle of bull run.

second battle of bull run

in august 1862 the union returned to manassas under the leadership of general john pope. the second battle of bull run began on august 28th when a union column moved east along the warrenton turnpike to centerville. union general franz sigel occupied henry hill and general rufus king moved his forces west to groveton. confederate general thomas jackson's forces under the command of william b. tallaferro attacked king at brawner's farm. at 6:30 pm confederate artillery began shelling king's position. the 2 nd wisconsin volunteer infantry was ordered to brawner's farm to disperse the harassing cannons. after three hours of fierce fighting the union retreated back to warrenton turnpike. the battle was essentially a draw but with heavy casualties on both sides.
on the morning of august 29 th general jackson set up defensive positions at the base of stony ridge along the "unfinished railroad" northwest of brawner's farm awaiting general longstreet's reinforcements. union forces of sigel, schurz, and schenk attacked the confederate line then were counter attacked by the confederates. by noon general longstreet's forces had arrived at brawner's farm. by mid afternoon union general kearney was attacking jackson's forces at stony ridge and longstreet's forces under the command of general hood was attacking union general hatch at groveton. generals pope and sigel had withdrawn east to matthews hill and the stone house. on august 30 th jackson's forces had now joined longstreet's forces and attacked pope's positions at matthews and henry hill. confederate general hood advanced from groveton to chinn ridge then on to the stone house. by 5:00 pm jackson's troops arrived at dogan ridge and joined in the attack on the stone house. pope finally was forced to retreat back on the warrenton turnpike back to centerville. the second battle of bull run was also a decisive confederate victory. after the battle general pope was relieved of his command and was transfered to minnesota to fight the dakota indians. general fitz john porter was court-martialed for his actions on august 29 th and was dismissed from the union army. my "things to do" pages 12 through 24 is a virtual tour of the second battle of manassas taking the battlefield auto tour.

the following quote sums up northern frustration with general pope's command at the second battle of bull run.
"a splendid army almost demoralized, millions of public property given up or destroyed, thousands of lives of our best men sacrificed for no purpose. i dare not trust myself to speak of this commander (pope) as i feel and believe, suffice to say, that more insolence, superciliousness, ignorance, and pretentiousness were never combined in one man. it can in truth be said of him that he had not a friend in his command from the smallest drummer boy to the highest general officer." brig. general alpheus s. williams (II corps divison commander).

  • Last visit to Manassas National Battlefield Park: Nov 2011
  • Intro Updated Nov 22, 2011
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  • starship's Profile Photo
    Nov 18, 2011 at 7:33 AM

    Excellent page! The number of both Confederate and Union generals involved in these 2 battles, along with the considerable logistics, is interesting to me but hard to remember. It's a shame that Virginia has not done more to preserve the structures that played a part in the battles and the surrender.


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