It’s no secret that the Chesapeake Bay region is full of rich culture and heritage. But did you know that many battles of the Civil War took place within the boundaries of the watershed?
The first major battle of the Civil War—the first battle of Manassas, otherwise known as the Battle of Bull Run—was fought on July 16, 1861. Where a quiet park bench now sits under a tree, local residents of Manassas, Va., camped out with wine and picnic baskets to watch what was supposed to be a quick victory for the Union as they marched to Richmond to end the war.
Instead, due to poorly trained troops and disorganized forces, the battle became a decisive victory for the Confederacy and they drove Union troops back to Washington, D.C. Both sides faced the sobering realization that the war would be much longer and bloodier than they had imagined.
A year later, each side would meet once more on the same battlefield with the Union troops again retreating in defeat. The second battle of Manassas, occurring from August 28-30, 1862, opened the way for the south to invade the north and make a bid for foreign assistance.
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