Chronological History of the American Civil War

P a g e | 12

Sunday, July 21, 1861 : This was it. The battle started that would settle, and thereby end, the Civil War. It was near the little town of Manassas, Virginia, where the creek called Bull Run flowed. To the

surprise of Washingtonians, who have come out to watch, Confederate forces (which include the 3rd Tennessee Infantry) win a victory at the First Battle of Bull Run. A brigade of Virginians under a relatively unknown colonel from the Virginia Military Institute, Thomas J. Jackson (pictured), stood their ground and Jackson received his famous nickname, "Stonewall". The Confederates launched a strong counterattack and as the Union troops began withdrawing under pressure, many panicked and it turned into a rout as they frantically ran in the direction of nearby Washington, D.C. The terrified sightseers (“a number of Members of Congress, and even ladies”) flee back to Washington in their carriages as Union forces sustain significant losses. Jefferson Davis observes the costly Confederate victory from Manassas, Virginia.

"By day-break what had been the Union's hopeful army began streaming past, now only a rain-soaked mob" according to John G. Nicolay, Lincoln’s secretary. Both sides were sobered by the violence and casualties of the battle, and they realized that the war would potentially be much longer and bloodier than they had originally anticipated. Total amount of men engaged in battle: 60,680 (US 28,450; CS 32,230) and estimated casualties: 4,700 total (US 2,950; CS 1,750.) New skirmishes are reported in Missouri. The Ohio border is in a state of “continual excitement,” as Union sympathizers flee North to escape persecution. Monday, July 22, 1861 : McDowell receives much of the blame for his loss at Bull Run, and Lincoln sends for Major General George B. McClellan in western Virginia to take command of the Union forces around Washington. In a proclamation, Jefferson Davis accepts Tennessee as a member of the Confederacy. Thursday, July 25, 1861 : There had been attempts at compromises for years, even decades in attempts to reconcile the institution of slavery with the American ideals of freedom for all men. Today the last of these compromise offers passed U.S. Senate by a vote of 30-5. Known as the Crittenden Resolution, it was a statement that the Union was fighting “to defend and maintain the supremacy of the Constitution and to preserve the Union” and not to interfere with slavery . This was a last attempt to fend off more secession. Friday , July 26, 1861 : It is often forgotten that Civil War battles occurred far from Virginia, Georgia and even the Mississippi River. One such action took place today in the wild and barely explored area near Texas then known as Indian Territory. Fort Fillmore, as this outpost was known, was under threat by about 250 Confederate forces under Capt. John R. Baylor. Despite having twice as many soldiers, and a fortified position, Major Isaac Lynde of the 7th U.S. Infantry decided the position was indefensible and pulled out for Ft. Stanton overnight. Saturday, July 27, 1861 : President Lincoln places command of the Federal Army of the Potomac to General George McClelland, who replaces McDowell. Lincoln advises that Union forces push toward Tennessee by seizing Manassas Junction, Virginia, and Strasburg, Kentucky, in the strategically important Shenandoah Valley. Sunday, July 28, 1861 : Confederate forces, many of whom had been Texas cowboys and ranch hands just weeks ago continued their triumphant sweep through what in later years would be known as New Mexico, today taking a fort at St. Augustine Springs, NM, from Capt. John R. Baylor without a shot being fired. Rebel troops also occupied New Madrid, Mo., an important chokepoint on the Mississippi River. Monday, July 29, 1861 : The Memphis Avalanche reports, “We are gratified to learn that Gen. Pillow will in a few days lead a brigade of Tennesseans into some one of the fields of active service …. The known bravery and prowess of this distinguished Tennessee General … give us the assurance that wherever his brigade shall be brought into action, feats of valor will be performed, and services rendered

Made with FlippingBook Online newsletter