- from Civil War
On July 21, 1861, a festive crowd from Washington, D.C., packed picnic baskets, harnessed horses to their carriages, and rode 30 miles south to Manassas Junction, Virginia, to watch the war begin. They assumed they’d also see it end—with a resounding Union victory.
However, that was not the case. In the first battle of the Civil War, named Bull Run in the North after the stream that ran nearby, Confederate forces soundly defeated the Union army.
The myth of the “90-day war” evaporated. What kept either side from a quick victory? The North had more than two times the population of the South from which to draw soldiers, and twice as many miles of railroad to move troops and supplies. Its factories also produced five times more goods. However, the South had one overwhelming 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 and to living in the outdoors. Also, the South had only to defend its territory to win the war. The North had to invade and conquer the South.