On July 21, 1861, Confederate and Union forces clashed on the plains of Manassas, Virginia, some 20 miles west of the Federal capital of Washington, D.C. In this first major battle of the War Between the States, the Southern army, led by Generals P.G.T. Beauregard and Joseph E. Johnston, defeated a numerically superior army under Irvin McDowell. The rout sent disgraced Federal troops running pell mell back to the safety of the capital defenses and convinced Southerners that idependence was within their grasp.


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Last modified 16-April-2001