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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

July 21, 1861

First Battle of Manassas (Bull Run)

The First Battle of Manassas (Bull Run) was fought near Manassas Junction, Virginia. Colonel Francis Bartow of Georgia was killed in the battle. Before the war, Bartow had been an attorney in Savannah; he was active in the early secession demonstrations in Savannah and Charleston, SC. Also involved in the battle was Georgian John B. Gordon, who would eventually be promoted to general and be a major figure in Georgia politics after the war. He would also write his memoirs of the war in Reminisces of the Civil War. Also participating from Georgia was General James Longstreet, who would play a pivotal role in the first major battle fought on Georgia soil two years later. Despite the loss of Bartow, the result of the battle was a resounding victory for the Confederates. After some early success for the Union army, Confederate reinforcements arrived and turned the tide of battle, sending the Union army in retreat back to Washington, D.C. The most noted figure to emerge from this battle was General Thomas J. Jackson - who had been a teacher at the Virginia Military Institute prior to the war. With the Confederate Army on the verge of being forced from the field, Jackson stood so firm in defense that a colleague referred to him standing line a stone wall. Thus was a nickname and a legend born.