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Virginia’s Importance During The Civil War

968 words - 4 pages

Virginia was a crucial state during the Civil War due to the number of battles that were fought in the state. Although Virginia was not the only state in which battles were fought, more Civil War battles were fought in Virginia than in any other state. Many historians have tried to set a specific number to the amount of battles fought in the commonwealth; however, it is a highly debatable issue because some Virginia was also the location of many skirmishes, which are slightly different from battles. Although all battles of the Civil War are important, there are also several opinions as to which battles were the most important. Personally speaking, three of the most important Civil War battles fought in Virginian include the First Battle of Bull Run or Manassas, the Battle of Chancellorsville, and the Battle of Appomattox or Appomattox Courthouse.
The First Battle of Bull Run/Manassas was significant because it was the first major land battle of the Civil War. The battle was sparked on July 21, 1861 at approximately 5:15 A.M. During this particular battle the commanders of the Confederate and the Union were not the individuals commonly associated with the Civil War. In fact, the Union was commanded by Irvin McDowell and the Confederate forces were commanded by Joseph Johnson and PGT Beauregard. Initially, General Irvin McDowell and his troops were order by Abraham Lincoln and the Federal government to advance south of Washington into Bull Run which would bring them closer to the Confederate capital which was Richmond, Virginia. Lincoln thought that an early victory amongst the Confederates would force them to end their rebellious acts in a quick battlefield. The Confederate army gained insight on the attack the Union forces were planning and moved some of their troops to Manassas. The battle began when Union forces fired shots into the McLean’s House where Commander Beauregard was eating breakfast. Both forces were relatively inexperienced; however, the Union troops had more fighting experience than the Confederate troops and the Union was a little more prepared for battle in comparison to the Confederate soldiers who had only recently picked up weapons. Despite the Union’s slight advantage over the Confederate army at the beginning of the battle, this was not a battle that the Union claimed victory of. In fact, by noon on July 21, General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson brought his brigade from the Shenandoah Valley to Manassas to aid the Confederate troops and the Union troops struggled to distinguish a difference between their troops and the Confederate troops due to the difficulty of distinguishing blue from gray at a distance. At the end of the battle, the Union troops settled along the outskirts of Washington. The Confederate army tried to chase them down; however, they soon realized that they were not well equipped to continue to fight. This battle was an important victory for the...

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