Question of the Week: 8/30-9/5/21

Which battle do you prefer to study, First or Second Bull Run/Manassas?

17 Responses to Question of the Week: 8/30-9/5/21

  1. I’m not sure if it is a binary choice. Both are dramatic and important engagements, featuring some interesting units and personalities. It is interesting to compare the orders of battle for both engagements and see how the armies changed over the intervening 13 months.

    That said, the 3-day brawl at Second Manassas more often captures my attention.

  2. Both battles are very interesting to study. However, Second Manassas, has so many avenues to study. With looking at the units there in July 61and being green, and they are also there in August 62, it is amazing the hardened soldiers they became. Having two ancestors at Second Manassas, helps add to my study of this battle.
    I would have to say Second Manassas is most fascinating to me.

  3. Second – so many fascinating aspects & moving parts. So many what-ifs. So much inter-army politics on the Union side. Mac was petulant & helpful at least, criminally negligent at worst.

  4. Second Bull Run (with apologies to Harry Smeltzer, who refuses my ongoing invitation to start a Bull Runnings – The Sequel blogsite 🙂 )

    A lot more events to study – the campaigning, Brawner’s Farm, two days of main battle, Chantilly, the Porter-Pope-McClellan controversy.

  5. I am more interested in First Manassus because it was a premature attempt on the part of the North, driven by public pressure. Or at least that’s how it appears to me.

  6. Oh, good heavens, neither! I don’t enjoy dwelling on Union defeats although there are so many aside from the Army of the Tennessee. Bruce Catton’s explanation of the first big battle of the war was so well described one could follow every movement. The generalship of Lee, Jackson, and Longstreet in the second battle was terrific, but again they were fighting Union generals who did not deserve to be corporals.

  7. 2nd Manassas/Bull Run. My wife has a Great-Great-Great Uncle that fought there with the 86th New York Infantry. He survived that fight, but was KIA in the Wilderness May 6, 1864.

  8. Second, because of Lee’s nstrategic maneuvers before it, Lincoln’s frustrating inability to get McClellan do do anything useful, and John Pope’s hilarious tap dancing about the Virginia countryside. It also witnessed the probable last chance for the Army of Northern Virginia to nearly destroy a section of the Union Army, frustrated by Jackson’s lethargic support of Longstreet’s assault.

  9. Both are interesting in different ways. The first battle is two novice armies and the second battle is two veteran armies clashing. But 2nd Manassas would be my preference. It’s the three day ‘Gettysburg’ of 1862.

  10. First Bull Run by far–first battle of the war, folks were not war-weary yet, spirited amateurs, and of course the 11th NY Fire Zouaves! REMEMBER ELLSWORTH!

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