Friday, July 21, 2006

This day in american military history, no 1

One of my favorite blogs is Free market fairy tales from the UK.
He does a "this day in history" type post almost every day to show the
brilliance of English arms since the middle ages. Usually the post
is something like: "During the Indian Mutiny Sgt Micklewaitstaff continued
leading his 6 soldiers after being wounded 19 times while single-
handidly winning the battle of Dungstinkalotpreshnam, and was
awarded the posthumous victoria cross". I'm usually pretty amazed
by these stories, until I think of the equivalent story in a flashman
book and what really happened.

I thought of trying my hand at this, and post tales of marshal valor
from the west side of the atlantic. Today in history, (July 21st) was
the first battle of bull run, or Mansassas to my fellow southerners.

On July 21, McDowell, turning Beauregard's left, attacked the Confederates near the stone bridge over Bull Run and drove them back to the Henry House Hill. There Confederate resistance, with Gen. Thomas J. Jackson standing like a “stone wall,” checked the Union advance, and the arrival of Gen. E. Kirby Smith's brigade turned the tide against the Union forces. The unseasoned Union volunteers retreated, fleeing along roads jammed by panicked civilians who had turned out in their Sunday finery to watch the battle. The retreat became a rout as the soldiers made for the defenses of Washington, but the equally inexperienced Confederates were in no condition to make an effective pursuit. The South rejoiced at the result, while the North was spurred to greater efforts to win the war.
That's not exactly a glorious day in US military history, but since they
were "our boys" I'll claim it as a victory. General Beauregard was from
louisiana, (I know he lived in New Orleans after the war, he ran the lottery),
and I lived in the E. Kirby Smith dorm for a year at LSU, I just never knew
who he was until just now.

This battle taught the northern soldiers how to run, and made the reputation
of Stonewall Jackson and the Stonewall Brigade.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

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