Question of the Week: 7/20-7/26/20

Which officer do you think was most influenced by his experience at First Bull Run/Manassas?

How did that experience shape his Civil War future?

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10 Responses to Question of the Week: 7/20-7/26/20

  1. Ben says:

    William Tecumseh Sherman! While not exact, he saw this would be a long struggle, that the South would not go quietly and that an enormous amount of men would be required to bring it all to an end.

  2. Mike Maxwell says:

    After the dust settled, the Southern public was ecstatic with the result of Battle of Manassas; and the newspapers of the Confederate States attempted to identify the one man responsible for the Victory. Of the handful of contenders, PGT Beauregard (who had initiated the war with offensive action against Fort Sumter) had strong support. But there was a problem: the newspapers identified “lack of pursuit” of the fleeing Federal Army as a major failing. “Who was responsible for not chasing McDowell’s Army all the way into Washington; and maybe even forcing a surrender?”
    General Beauregard submitted an open letter, claiming: “Up until July 24th a force of 20,000 men could have taken Washington.” And it was inferred that “President Jefferson Davis was responsible for the lack of pursuit.”
    The struggle over “credit for Manassas” led to a major falling out between President Davis and his most successful General to date (and potential rival for the Presidency) PGT Beauregard. The relationship became so toxic that General Beauregard offered to depart from the east (seen as the seat of war) and take up responsibility for the defense of New Orleans. But President Davis denied the request. It was only when Jefferson Davis’ friend, Albert Sidney Johnston, was seen to falter in the West that Beauregard was sent to General Johnston’s aid… but it was a downhill slide, with one misstep after another that ended with Beauregard’s removal from command in June 1862.

  3. Douglas Pauly says:

    I reckon ol’ ‘Stonewall’ is an easy choice, and I’ll select him. I mean, who else there at Bull Run got a nickname that they would be known by forever afterwards? LOL..

  4. W Charles Young says:

    Irvin McDowell. The defeat started his decent to California and oblivion. He went from army command to corps command to out of the war in California.

    • Meg Groeling says:

      Where he selected and purchased roses for the Presidio Garden, which he designed. His name is misspelled on his military-issue Army tombstone, alas.

  5. nygiant1952 says:

    I feel both sides realized, after 1st Manassas, that the war was going to be a prolonged affair. And not decided by one battle.

  6. Maurice McGrath says:

    I select the regular soldiers on both sides. Those men who chose to fight for whatever reason, and now saw that all the hoopla drumd up by both sides if a quick end. Saw that it would not be that way, and that if they were to stay it was going to be a long hard fought way to the end.

  7. Chris Mackowski says:

    I’m going to say George B. McClellan. He wasn’t at the battle, of course, and so wasn’t tainted by the Federal loss there. When Lincoln realized, in the wake of the fight, that he needed to be more serious about building a viable army, he called on McClellan, who came into town as the hotshot wunderkind. Too bad he was as concerned with building his own reputation as he was building an army!

  8. John Pryor says:

    Jackson. He was incredibly frustrated by the failure to follow up. Every time thereafter, health permitting, he always sought within limits, a battle of annihilation. It led him to his death.

  9. Meg Groeling says:

    Finally a question about my “favorite” battle and I have no answer! I am tempted to say Major Sullivan Ballou, since he died minutes into the morning’s fighting. The above are all good answers–Manassas gave everyone a reliable blueprint for the rest of the war.

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