Bull Run – 150 years on.
“You are green, it is true, but they are green also; you are all green alike.” – Abraham Lincoln, 1861
150 years ago today, on what must have been a murderously balmy Virginia summer day (not unlike today along the East Coast), the Federal army and the newly minted army of the Confederate States of America met for the first time in major combat at Manassas, only 30 miles or so from the capital.
The average American had no idea yet of the first-hand horrors of war. Spectators from nearby Washington DC came to watch the “action”. When the Confederate army was not routed as expected, they ran back to DC in a panic, as did many of the ragtag Union soldiers.
The number of casualties suffered by both sides horrified the public, but sadly, the figure was paltry compared to what was to come.
It was at this battle that Thomas Jackson earned his nickname: “Stonewall”:
“There is Jackson standing like a stone wall. Let us determine to die here, and we will conquer. Rally behind the Virginians.”
The bridge was destroyed, but later rebuilt: