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Showing posts from January, 2021

WHAT WILL YOU WEAR TO THE CIVIL WAR PICNIC?

July 21, 1861, Washingtonians trekked to the countryside near Manassas, Virginia, to watch Union and Confederate forces clash in the first major battle of the  American Civil War . Known in the North as the  First Battle of Bull Run  and in the South as the Battle of First Manassas, the military engagement also earned the nickname the “picnic battle” because spectators showed up with sandwiches and opera glasses. These onlookers, who included a number of U.S. congressmen, expected a victory for the Union and a swift end to the war that had begun three months before. Instead, the battle that day resulted in a bloody defeat for the Union and sent the picnickers scrambling to safety. On July 16, federal forces led by Brigadier General Irvin McDowell began marching from the nation’s capital toward the strategic railroad junction at Manassas, some 30 miles away, where Confederate troops commanded by General  Pierre G. T. Beauregard  had amassed. Five days later, ordinary citizens—along with