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First Battle of Manassas, or Bull Run July 21, 1861

snituama Posted by snituama in Closer Readings on Jul 21, 2011 11:18:17 AM

Today marks the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Bull Run or the Battle of Manassas first major land battle of the American Civil War!  It was up till that time the largest battle ever fought in North America and resulted in over 1000 casualities on both sides.


Walt Whitman who witnessed it commented:


The dream of humanity, the vaunted Union we thought so strong, so impregnable — lo! it seems already smash’d like a china plate. One bitter, bitter hour — perhaps proud America will never again know such an hour. She must pack and fly — no time to spare.”

Walt Whitman, “Battle of Bull Run, July, 1861”


Learn more of Whitman's sentiments and first-hand observations on this battle and the entire war in EdSITEment's Literature of the Civil War. Then let EDSITEment unfold the historical context leading your students through the causes and effects of this battle as well as The American Civil War as a whole.


You'll find an interactive campaign map students may trace the major battles along with original documents to focus on how they contributed to the outcome of the war.


You'll find a comprehensive list of EDSITEment lessons on Slavery, the Crisis of the Union, the Civil War and Reconstruction including this unit:


The American Civil War: A “Terrible Swift Sword”
This curriculum unit introduces students to important questions pertaining to the war: strengths and weaknesses of each side at the start of the conflict; the two turning points of the war-the concurrent battles of Gettysburg and Vicksburg-as well as the morality of the Union's use of "total war" tactics against the population of the South; Abraham Lincoln's wartime leadership.



Two additonal NEH funded resources for teachers to explore this battle with students in innovative ways include:


Journey Through Hallowed Ground

July 21st marks the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Bull Run in Manassas, Virginia. Take this NEH-supported Journey with Stonewall Middle School students’ original podcasts of historic battles.

View Journey Through Hallowed Ground »




Encyclopedia Virginia: Battle of Manassas or Bull Run

The First Battle of Manassas, or Bull Run, fought on July 21, 1861, was the first major battle of the American Civil War (1861–1865). Find out more about this event in the first and ultimate online reference work about Virginia.





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