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Nick Sullo BATTLE OF BULL RUN On a warm July day in 1861 two great armies of a divided nation clashed for the first time on the fields overlooking Bull Run Their ranks were filled with exited young volunteers in colorful new uniforms gathered from every part of the country Confident their enemies would run at the first shot the young recruits were thankful that they would not miss the only battle of what would surely be a short war But any thoughts of colorful beauty was lost in the smoke dirt and death of the battle Soldiers on both sides were stunned by the violence an destruction they encountered At days end nearly 900 young men laid dead on the fields of Matthews Hill Ten hours of heavy fighting swept away thoughts of this being a quickly decided war The first major battle of the Civil War was fought in Virginia near the Manassas Virginia railway junction after which the battle is calledor the First Bull Run named after a flowing stream on the battlefield The armies in this first battle were not very large or well trained by late Civil war standards The Union forces were under the command of General Irvin McDowell were organized into four divisions or about 30000 men These divisions were commanded by Tyler Hunter Heintzelman and Miles The Confederate armies were a little less organized including two armies with no division structure and 13 independent brigades under Bonham Ewell Jones Longstreet Cocke Early Holmes kershaw Evans Jackson Bartow Bee Smith and a Calvary brigade under Stuart The Confederate army of the Potomac was under the comand of General Pierre GT Beauregard and the Army of the Shenandoah was commanded by General Joseph E Jonston These two armies would equal McDowells strength Interestingly enough each commander had planned to imitate an attack on the other side with a feint attack on the enemies right flank and a massed
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