Though the battle of Ft. Sumter officially marks the beginning of the Civil War, historians widely consider the First Battle of Bull Run to be the battle that really marked the beginning of the war in earnest. Lincoln thought that Bull Run would be a small skirmish in which the Union troops quickly won, putting an end to the war before it really began. Local people even showed up with picnic lunches to socialize and watch the battle!
Lincoln's hopes were not to come to fruition. The Confederate troops routed the Union forces, sending them running back to Centerville, VA in a disorganized retreat. Their retreat was hampered by the socialites fleeing the scene. Union casualties were: 460 killed, 1,124 wounded, and 1,312 missing or captured; Confederate casualties were: 387 killed, 1,582 wounded, and 13 missing. Because the Confederate troops were highly disorganized, they did not give chase when the Union forces retreated.
If you haven't already, watch this quick video about the battle, then, check out the interactive map for some historical pictures & points of interest.
Bull Run Animated Map from Civil War Trust on Vimeo.
Check out the interactive map below to learn more about some of the interesting points and places of the First Battle of Bull Run!