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Battle of Bull Run/Manassas Junction Summary

Battle of Bull Run/Manassas Junction Summary

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Author: Mark Biancuzzo
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Background:'

  • 39,000 Union (northern) troops, led by General McDowell marched out of Washington to Richmond, Virginia to capture the railroad line at Manassas Junction. 
  • 21,000 Confederate/Rebel (southern) troops led by General P.G.T. Beauregard opposed the Union troops
  • *another 11,000 Confederate/Rebel troops under General Johnson came to support Beauregard.  Johnston soon came to command all of the Confederate forces at Manassas

Southern Victory:


  • On July 21, 1861, Union troops crossed Bull Run Creek and attacked the Confederate/Rebel troops.
  • Both forces are confident and enthusiastic to fight, but they are also undisciplined and poorly trained and equiped.
  • Leaders had little experience leading large groups of men
  • The Union had success early pushing the Confederates back, but the Confederates rallied (came back, started to win).
  • Near a house, under the leadership of General Jackson, the Confederates held "like a stone wall".  This led the general being known as Stonewall Jackson.
  • After the Confederates received reinforcements from Johnston, they were able to push the Union back to Bull Run Creek.
  • The Union troops began to retreat (runaway from the battle).  This led to the disorganization of the Union troops, who were retreating back to Washington.
  • The Confederates were also disorganized.  They were tired and surprised that they had defeated the Union during the battle.
  • This was the first major victory for the Confederates

Video Summary of the Battle of Bull Run