I spent most of the day with Maggie. Mr. Heath, the sergeant at Camp Cole, came up to see Mr. Chatfield, and staid to dinner. Eliza Coons & Fanny Wicks were also here.
Today's papers put a better face on the Manassas fight. Our troops fought bravely and well, until the panic began, occasioned by a rush of the teamsters, civilians &c. and by an unexpected attack of rebel cavalry. Our loss, killed outright is less than first stated. It is thought not to exceed 600. The rebels themselves suffered as severely as we, perhaps more so. Dispatches from Richmond say 2000 killed. It was one of the severest battles ever fought in America. The whole country is aroused. Already reinforcements are on the way to Washington. Gen. McClellan is summoned to the Capitol to take command of the Grand Army.
Kate received a letter from Rufus full of ardent patriotism. He says he knows he has the love and confidence of his men. They are resolved to stand by each other. Each one of them would die for him as he would cheerfully for them. They will see servie soon as the government will order forward all the regiments already equipped immediately, to repair the disastrous retreat from Manassas.
|Sarah & Annie Cutler|
I am most interested in the political and social history of the Civil War and not so keen on learning a great deal about the battles. Much has been written about the battles, however, and is easily discovered by a google search. Here is a brief synopsis of the Battle of Bull Run (as the Union referred to it or the Battle at Manassas Junction as the Confederates refer to it). The number of Union troops killed, wounded or missing was 2,950 and the number of Southern troops was estimated to be 1,750-2,000. The following quote is from the National Park Service:
General Irvin McDowell's army of 35,000 Union troops marched from Washington, D.C. toward the railroad junction at Manassas. Here the Orange & Alexandria Railroad met the Manassas Gap Railroad, which led west to the Shenandoah Valley. Twenty-two thousand Southern soldiers under the command of General Pierre G.T. Beauregard guarded the area, waiting for an attack. On July 21, 1861, the two armies met on the fields overlooking a small stream named Bull Run. Meanwhile, on July 20th and 21st, 10,000 additional Southern troops arrived via the Manassas Gap Railroad. After hours of battle, the newly arrived southern units forced the exhausted and discouraged Union soldiers to withdraw back to Washington, D.C.
Rufus Dawes, Julia's nephew, had been working for his father in Wisconsin and had organized a company of troops, who then elected him Captain. This company was officially mustered into the service of the United States on July 16. Rufus' company proceeded towards Washington by way of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
|Rufus R. Dawes, 1861|