The raw, untested Union troops that met the Confederate Army on the plains of
Manassas July 21, 1861, were not prepared for the drubbing administered to them by their
Southern counterparts. So high was their confidence as they entered Virginia that many
stopped along the way to pick berries and treated the march as a picnic outing. Those
who survived to fight again at Manassas the following summer counted First Manassas as
the moment that began their conversion from green recruits to seasoned veterans.
"The March into Virginia"