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Bull Run Thesis

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The Civil War was fought during 1861 through 1865 between the Southern and Northern parts of the United States. The North, or the Union, wanted to abolish slavery, but the South, called the Confederates, wanted to keep slavery as well as secede from the Union. This war started at Fort Sumter and was won by the North. Hostility between the North and South grew noticeably after the year of the Missouri Compromise, 1820 (“Civil War” 1). In 1852, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, a book about slave life, became the second best-selling book in 19th Century America, behind the Bible, and opened the eyes of Northerners. A few years later, John Brown raided a government arsenal in Harper’s Ferry, Virginia, hoping to distribute the weapons to slaves. However, he…show more content…
Union General Irvin McDowell believed his army of 35,000 would be able to defeat Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard’s 20,000, but the Confederates managed to hold him off while reinforcements arrived. Eventually the Confederates retreated upwards to Henry House Hill, where Confederate General Thomas Jackson got his troops ready to meet the Union advance (“Bull Run” 1). By 1 PM, many Union soldiers had been fighting for ten hours in addition to having marched six miles before the battle. Then Confederate backups began to arrive and by 2 PM began a counter attack. However, it ended in confusion because units on both sides shared uniforms of the same color and style. A regiment in Jackson’s brigade changed into blue uniforms and were thought to be Union support until it was too late and they had destroyed the battery, sparking panic. McDowell lacked the force needed as Union reserves could not come. His soldiers were tired and their line collapsed before troops fled (“The First Battle” 1). There were no important consequences for either side, but the battle did show the ferocity and bloodshed that was to come as the war progressed (Cooper 1). The next year, Thomas Jackson was burning a Union supply base, so Major General John Pope sent his forces to converge at Bull Run. Jackson moved his troops north to John Brawner’s farm, where a fierce battle soon took place; one of every three men was shot. There were 32,000 Union soldiers against 22,000 Confederates but Brigadier General Rufus King’s forces managed to hold off Jackson until evening. The same day, 25,000 men were arriving as Confederate reinforcements. Pope sent small brigades to advance one after
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