Yesterday marked the 159th anniversary of the First Battle of Bull Run (Manassas)—the first major engagement of the American Civil War. For the soldiers and civilians who fought or witnessed the battle, it was the moment everything changed.Continue reading
July 24, 1861
…The moon was full the night of the battle,…and a more awful sight I never witnessed than that as I went among the dead and wounded of both sides.
Dr. Hunter McGuire to Dr. Hugh McGuire (father) on July 24, 1861 Continue reading
July 21, 1861
…Clouds of dust shifted and moved through the forest; and through the wavering mists of light blue smoke, and the thicker masses which rose commingling from the feet of men and the mouths of cannon, I could see the gleam of arms and the twinkling of bayonets. Continue reading
“There stands Jackson like a stonewall! Rally behind the Virginians. Let us determine to die here, and we will conquer. Follow me.”
General Barnard Bee, July 21, 1861
July 21, 1861
About two o’clock this morning we left “Bush Camp,” and marching down the hill, through Centreville, found the woods obstructed by wagons and troops that had failed to start on time. Soon the Second [Rhode Island Regiment] left the main road and struck off the right, through a wood path that had been much obstructed. As we led the Brigade the task of clearing the road fell to us, and hard work we found it.
About nine o’clock in the forenoon we reached Sudley church, and a distant gun startled us, but we did not realize that our first battle was so near at hand. We now took a side road that skirted a piece of woods and marched for some distance, the men amusing themselves with laughter and jokes, with occasional stops for berries. Continue reading