2011 44¢ First Battle of Bull Run
Civil War Sesquicentennial
Issue Date: April 12, 2011
City: Charleston, SC
Printed By: Ashton Potter
Printing Method: Offset
“The time for compromise has now passed, and the South is determined to maintain her position, and make all who oppose her smell Southern powder and feel Southern steel.” – Jefferson Davis
Both the Union and the Confederacy predicted a short war and an easy victory in the days following the attack on Fort Sumter, South Carolina. Impatient Northerners pushed President Lincoln to attack the Confederate capital in Richmond, Virginia.
On July 16, 1861, Brigadier General Irvin McDowell gathered 35,000 untrained Union soldiers and marched toward Richmond. The men traveled two days through sweltering heat before reaching Centreville, Virginia, where they rested and regrouped.
In nearby Manassas Junction, an equally inexperienced Confederate army of 34,000 men waited, protecting the vital supply line to Richmond. On July 21, 1861, the two armies met near Bull Run River in the first major land battle of the Civil War. Congressional families gathered to picnic nearby.
A Confederate brigade commanded by Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson held its ground at the Battle of Bull Run. The Union army suffered heavy casualties and was forced to retreat. Sobered by the violence, the nation readied for a long war.