First Manassas Battlefield Troop Movements.
In the text, the red numbers in parentheses
refer to the numbers
on this map.
When the fighting resumed it continued on and around Henry Hill
until approximately 4 p.m. Shortly thereafter, Confederate reinforcements, from
the Army of the Shenandoah, arrived on the battlefield
(one brigade arrived by rail from the Shenandoah Valley) causing the Union to
extend its line to the right. At that time, Confederate forces near the Chinn
house, under the command of General Jubal Early, attacked the right flank of the
forcing the Union troops to retreat.
The Chinn House foundation, January, 1998.
From this location, in the
afternoon of July 21, 1861, a Confederate attack overran the Union right,
resulting in the rout of the Union army at First Manassas.
The Union retreat was orderly at the beginning. Union regulars protected the
volunteers as they withdrew on the road to Washington, toward the Stone Bridge
crossing Bull Run . However, at the bridge
they found the road to Washington jammed with the carriages of the congressmen
and others who had come to watch the battle. The soldiers panicked and the
retreat became a rout.
Some Union telegraph messages
During the Battle
Union telegraph messages.
Manassas Virginia Telegraph, July 21, 1861
Very Rapid firing from heavy Guns & small arms-- Frequent &
heavy discharges of musketry--
Curtis -- opr -- Fairfax
Fighting very heavy & apparently more on our left wing
Near Fairfax 12.30 PM
Firing of heavy guns about same as last dispatch but apparently now more on
our right wing 1 or 2 very heavy guns heard awhile ago now silent I can hear
distinctly from where I am about 1 1/2 miles from the Station & about 7 from
Near Fairfax 12.50 PM
Firing of heavy guns apparently nearer and in the direction of Centreville
should think there.
Near Fairfax 1.10 P.M.
Firing more in the distance & greatly slackened. No guns at Centreville since
10 Mins interval still fainter and less guns. You can draw your own inference
Near Fairfax Station 1.30 PM
A renewal of heavy firing but not as strong as it has been-- Cant make it out
exactly appears to be scattering some apparently near Centreville and some
much beyond it-- Just now a heavy roll of musketry for about one minute
Near Fairfax 1.40 P.M.
10 mins late.
Musketry but no heavy guns.
Near Fairfax 1 45 PM
Heavy guns again & apparently nearer musketry heavy & nearer.
2 10 Near Fairfax
The musketry very heavy and drawing much nearer. There is evidently a movement
mor to our left
Fairfax 2.45 P.M
To Genl. Scott--
Firing a little farther off and apparently now in the direction of Manasses
Junction, less heavy Guns & more light artillery as near as I can judge
Fairfax 3 PM 21
Firing ceased 10 minutes since
3 35 PM Fairfax
The firing has almost entirely ceased & can only be heard with difficulty I
shall telegraph no more unless there be a renewal of the battle which has been
so gloriously fought for the old stars & stripes & from all indications here
our troops have at least stood their ground
U. S. A.
I have requested Curtis to remain in position & telegraph us every 20 minutes
T A. Scott
Fairfax C H 3 50 PM 21/61
Our courier has not returned yet Q Master Barton of the 2d Michigan Regt has
returned passed & says that officers men & citizens at
Centreville say a general engagement of the whole line has taken place 3 1/2
miles this side of Manassas & that our troops had driven & forced the
secession lines back to Manassas. We expect Couriers now every moment
Fairfax C H July 21/61
Two of our couriers have returned but unable to deliver in person to Gen
McDowell the despatches. They were left in charge of an officer in the field
of battle who will endeavor to get them to the Genl. One of the couriers was
on the battle field says our troops have taken 3 masked batteries & forced the
rebels to fall back & return says the battle was general on Bull Run some
distance says battle extended
There One of the batteries
taken was in a wheat field & the other some distance from it & the 3d still
Fairfax C H 5.20 PM
I am en route to Washington with details of great battle. We have carried the
day-- Rebels accepted battle in their strength but are totally routed. Loss on
both sides considerable Bulls run silenced & two or three other batteries
Fairfax C H
5 40 PM
Firing has ceased-- We shall send another Courier there in few minutes-- The
Colonel went at four & will be back soon
Manassas Virginia Telegraph, July 21, 1861 (Dispatches). Transcribed and
annotated by the Lincoln Studies Center, Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois.
Available at Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress, Manuscript
Division (Washington, D.C.: American Memory Project, [2000-02]),
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/alhtml/alhome.html, accessed [March 20, 2003].
The Confederates, though cheered that President Jefferson Davis had arrived
on the field just as the battle was ending, were too disorganized to follow
up their success. By July 22 the defeated Union army was back behind the
defenses of Washington.