February 22, 2011

My Civil War Quilt: Month Two

Let me tell you what is coming. After the sacrifice of countless millions of treasure and hundreds of thousands of lives you may win Southern independence, but I doubt it. The North is determined to preserve this Union. They are not a fiery, impulsive people as you are, for they live in colder climates. But when they begin to move in a given direction, they move with the steady momentum and perseverance of a mighty avalanche.   -Sam Houston

Time for another post on my Civil War Anniversary quilt! This month's quilt block is called "Thunder & Lightning" and commemorates the first battle at Manassas, also known as the Battle of Bull Run.

July 21, 1861

Manassas had the honor of hosting the first land battle of the Civil War. The Confederacy had chosen for its capital city, Richmond, VA. Because of this, with the two capital cities of Richmond and Washington D.C. so close together, many of the first battles of the war were within close range of each other and the cities.

When Union troops headed out for their first campaign, wealthy citizens of Washington, including Congressmen and their families, followed in their buggies with champagne and picnic baskets, expecting to have a good show and see the Rebels get whipped back into their place.

It was going to be a quick battle, an easy victory, and the war wouldn't last but a few months at most! No one wanted to miss out on the show or being part of the victory! These were commonly held beliefs on both sides of the battle lines.

The first battle began early in the morning and lasted till about 4:00 in the afternoon. The Union troops were overwhelmed and after the last of their troops were forced off a certain hill by the Confederate troops, the Union began to retreat.

It was orderly at first, but quickly became chaotic. Yankee soldiers, in their panic to flea, discarded firearms and equipment. The chaos enabled southern troops to take many prisoners. And to add to the confusion, the wealthy citizens of Washington had to abandon their picnics and join the confusion, clogging the roads with their carriages and impeding the progress of the army.

The first battle of Bull Run was the bloodiest battle on American soil up to that point. 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.

The North was shocked at their defeat. Both sides, which had expected easy victory over their foe and a short war, suddenly realized that it would not be as easy as expected, that even with victory there would be great loss and expense.

The name of the battle has been under controversy since it happened. The North favored referring to battle fields by rivers or streams that lay nearby. Therefor they generally called the first battle the Battle of Bull Run, after a nearby stream. The South, on the other hand, tended to refer to battles by the name of towns or villages nearby. And so they called the first battle the Battle at Manassas. Thus the reason this battle has been known by two different names throughout its history.

Almost a year later, on August 28-30 1862, the two armies would fight again on the same ground, another Confederate victory known as the Second Battle of Bull Run.

Manassas, VA would be an excellent place to visit this summer in your vacationing if your able. The town and battle field will be celebrating the anniversary of the war with displays and events. For more information on the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War, visit the Civil War Trusts website.

I thought I'd add to my monthly Civil War post by sharing a good book with you in each post. For this months post, I chose...

Some of you may have seen the movie that came out a few years ago with Nicole Kidman, Jude Law, and Renee Zelweger. I love the movie, and honestly, even if I didn't like the story, the movie was a work of art (in my opinion).  The book...well as usual I have to say, you have to read the book, even if you've seen the movie. There is SO much detail and depth that they can't capture in a movie! I'll be re-reading it sometime in the next few months. If you are in the market for something a little different to read, and like historical fiction, I recommend Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier.

That concludes this months post on the American Civil War! Sorry if I make these too long. Its a subject that I enjoy talking about, and since I never got to teach it in history classes, as I would have loved to do, I'm forcing you into becoming my classroom. I'll try not to lecture too much!
Don't forget our Pampered Chef Blog party! You have through Friday to get your orders in! So be sure to take some time over the next couple days to browse the merchandise. Don't forget that everyone who orders gets entered in a drawing for a $25 gift certificate. And if you missed the original post, here's a link to it that explains all! Invite your friends too, if you think they might enjoy!


Cindy Caudle said...

Thank you for the information. I love to study about the Civil War. When I retire, I want to take a trip to see some of the battle grounds. I like the quilt block also. I am going to try and make one.

Keep up with the history classes. I love them.

small farm girl said...

I so enjoy these Civil War post!!! I can honestly say I wasn't really that into the history of the Civil War. That was, until you started these posts. Since then, I have looked up a few things and have studied more on the subject. I find it REALLY interesting. It's hard to believe that my great grandma's mom lived during that time. I always thought of it as a war that happened a LONG time ago. It really wasn't that long ago. Your post have really peaked my interest. Thanks for opening my eyes to something that I am really begining to enjoy.

Lisa said...

I just finished reading the biography of Mary Todd Lincoln... loved it. It had so much information about the Civil War... was very interesting! Thanks for sharing.

Rising Rainbow said...

Thanks for this bit of history. I never really appreciated history in school but now that I'm older and really understand is't significance I really enjoy it although I still suck a remembering dates. LOL