The Civil War Begins: Opening Clashes, 1861 is the first in a series of campaign brochures commemorating our national sacrifices during the American Civil War. Author Jennifer Murray examines the successes and challenges of both the Union and the Confederate forces during the early days of the Civil War. Notable battles discussed include: Fort Sumter, South Carolina; Bull Run, Virginia; Wilson’s Creek, Missouri; Cape Hatteras, North Carolina; and Port Royal, South Carolina.
William C. Davis has written a compelling and complete account of this landmark conflict. The Battle at Bull Run (or Manassas) is notable for many reasons. It was a surprise victory for the Confederacy, a humiliating defeat for the Union, and the first ominous indication that a long and bloody war was inevitable. It marked the first strategic use of railroads in history, and the first time the horrors of the battle were photographed for the folks back home. It was also a training ground for some of America’s most colorful military figures: P.G.T. Beauregard, Joe Johnston, Irvin McDowell and “Stonewall” Jackson. Drawing from a wealth of material—old letters, journals, memoirs and military records—Davis brings to life a vivid and vital chapter in American history.
On 16 July 1861, the largest army ever assembled on the North American continent up to that time marched from the vicinity of Washington, D.C., toward Manassas Junction, thirty miles to the southwest. Commanded by newly promoted Brig. Gen. Irvin McDowell, the Union force consisted of partly trained militia with ninety-day enlistments (almost untrained volunteers) and three newly organized battalions of Regulars. Many soldiers, unaccustomed to military discipline or road marches, left the ranks to obtain water, gather blackberries, or simply to rest as the march progressed.
Near Manassas, along a meandering stream known as Bull Run, waited the similarly untrained Confederate army commanded by Brig. Gen. Pierre G. T. Beauregard. This army would soon be joined by another Confederate force, commanded by General Joseph E. Johnston.
After a minor clash of arms on 18 July, McDowell launched the first major land battle of the Civil War by attempting to turn the Confederate left flank on 21 July. A series of uncoordinated and sometimes confusing attacks and counterattacks by both sides finally ended in a defeat for the Union Army and its withdrawal to Washington.
The Battle of First Bull Run highlighted many of the problems and deficiencies that were typical of the first year of the war. Units were committed piecemeal, attacks were frontal, infantry failed to protect exposed artillery, tactical intelligence was nil, and neither commander was able to employ his whole force effectively. McDowell, with 35,000 men, was only able to commit about 18,000, and the combined Confederate forces, with about 32,000 men, committed only 18,000.
From the official records of both Johnston and Beauregard and the testimony of others, as well as his own witnessing of events as a brigadier-general, Smith defends Beauregard and asks that history award him his due for the Confederate victory at Manassas.
For the first time, this interesting account is available in an affordable, well-formatted book for e-readers and smartphones.
Be sure to LOOK INSIDE or download a sample.
Completely revised for the Sesquicentennial, The Complete Idiot's Guide® to the Civil War, Third Edition is a comprehensive overview of America's bloodiest war. From the first shots fired at Fort Sumter to Lee's surrender at Appomattox, this book embodies the latest scholarship, offering fascinating stories of the men and women who fought bravely and often died for a cause they believed in. The book features a clear chronology of major events, detailed explanations of key battles such as Gettysburg, Chattanooga, and Chancellorsville. Author Alan Axelrod offers intimate impressions and anecdotes from generals and soldiers alike, and strategies of war leaders such as Sherman, Lee, and Grant.
From Sumter to the surrender, its pages are full of the deepest interest. Much is told about the civil war that cannot be found elsewhere. The writer has the tact to deal with the little details of the conflict, which in the aggregate made up the glorious results. The author, Willard Glazier, was a good soldier; he moreover wields a graceful pen.