- from Civil War
On July 21, 1861, a cheery crowd from Washington, D.C., packed picnic baskets. They hitched horses to carriages. Then they rode 30 miles south to Manassas Junction, Virginia. They wanted to see the war begin. They also thought they’d see it end—with an easy Union victory.
However, that wasn’t the case. Northerners called the Civil War’s first battle Bull Run after the stream that ran nearby. The Confederate forces crushed the Union army.
The myth of the “90-day war” disappeared. What kept either side from a quick victory? The North had more than two times the population of the South, so it had plenty of soldiers. It had twice as many miles of railroad to move troops and supplies. Its factories also made five times more goods. However, the South had one big advantage, at least in the early war years. Its officers and soldiers were more experienced than Northern troops. Its men were more used to handling guns and horses. They were also more used to living in the outdoors. Plus, the South only had to defend its land to win the war. The North had to invade and conquer the South.