As any Civil War buff worth their salt knows, today marks the 150th Anniversary of the first Battle of Bull Run (or Manassas for folks of the Southern persuasion). Normally I’d have some angle on the battle for an anniversary of this magnitude, but life gets in the way sometimes.
I’d also like to mention that Fred Ray may have some comments up here today on some aspect of the battle. In lieu of that possibility, I’d encourage everyone to run, not walk, over to Bull Runnings, THE site to visit for all things on this first major land battle of the Civil War. Harry Smeltzer is the owner and operator, and his work there served as inspiration for my own “battle blog” on the Siege of Petersburg. One of the latest posts is a transcribed letter from a member of the 71st New York to a San Francisco newspaper about his then recent experiences at Bull Run. You might also want to check out Bull Run guru John Hennessy’s newly refocused site Remembering: Musings on Fredericksburg and Manassas. He has published books on both fights along the banks of Bull Run and has forgotten more about these battles than most of us know.
Lastly, if you’re into wargaming the Civil War, a new game will be out this summer entitled Brother Against Brother: The Drawing of the Sword. Released by Matrix Games and partly based on the Forge of Freedom battle engine, BaB features early war battles First Bull Run, Williamsburg, Wilson’s Creek, and Mill Springs. Although the game won’t make it out for the anniversary of First Bull Run, you can definitely experience the battle in what is hopefully a long-lived new series which has already proven it will look at the lesser known as well as major battles.