| American History Stories, Volume IV|
|by Mara L. Pratt|
|Stories of the great conflict from the time Lincoln became president and the southern states seceded, through the battles of Bull Run, Shiloh, Antietam, Vicksburg, Gettysburg, Chickamauga, until the close of the war. Includes poems, songs, and illustrations commemorating the events. Ages 8-12 |
BATTLE OF BULL RUN
The Confederates had camped
at a railroad junction in Virginia,
where the railroads running west
and those running south met. It
was, as you see, important that
such a place as that should be
kept out of the hands of the
Confederates, lest all means of
railroad travel for the Unionists be cut off. The railroad
leading direct to Richmond, the
city which the Confederates had
made the capital of their
Confed-  eracy, led from this junction. Because of this, the
Confederates were carefully guarding this junction.
General Beauregard, the same Confederate who had
ordered the attack upon Fort Sumter, was in command here,
He was an odd looking little man, with snapping black eyes;
and snow white hair. He hated "Yankees" as he hated
rats; and used often to say, "We'll whip 'em, boys, if we
have nothing but pitchforks to do it with."
The Confederate army was camped by the side of a stream
called "Bull Run." With Beauregard was another general
of whom you need to know, General Johnston.
General McDowell was coming with the Union army to
meet this foe. At nine o'clock one Sunday morning, the
armies met, and a terrible battle followed. The Confederates
began breaking up and giving way. It seemed as if
victory was to be on the Union side. But General Jackson
turned the tide—Jackson, the cool-headed, iron-hearted,
immovable Confederate General.
"Boys, there stands Jackson cool and firm as a stonewall!"
said a soldier, as he saw him in the midst of this
fearful slaughter, sitting as quietly upon his horse, giving
his orders as coolly, as if he were in the quiet fields of his
"Jackson like a stone-wall," flew along the lines, from
mouth to mouth, and ever after this grim old general was
called "Stonewall Jackson."
 At noon time, fresh Confederate forces came up, and the
already exhausted Unionists rallied to fight again. Back and
forth the lines surged against each other. Guns were taken
and retaken over and over. No one could tell which side
All this time, the Confederate leaders had been watching
for new troops which were expected every hour from the
The Shenandoah troops arrived! Woe, woe to the Union
lines! the first knowledge they had of their new foe, was the
yell that arose from every side, "The enemy are upon us!
the enemy are upon us!"
Now followed a terrible fright. The Union soldiers,
frightened and confused, dropped guns, knapsacks, everything
and fled;—fled like wild animals with no reason and
On, on they ran towards Washington, frightening the
villagers as they passed along, calling to them to run for
their lives from the foe behind. It was one of the most
disgraceful flights ever known in history; and when it became
really known what had been done, the North was indeed
filled with shame and despair.
Here are two little stories connected with this battle of
Bull Run, which although not what some people would call
"real history," will help you to remember the battle.
Several dwelling-houses stood within the limits of the
 place where the fight was hottest, among them the house of
Mrs. Judith Henry. Not suspecting that it was to be the
scene of a battle, the family remained in the house until it
was too late to escape. The noise of the battle came nearer
and nearer, and soon cannon-shot began to plow up the
ground around the house. Mrs. Henry, who was an invalid,
was carried by her son and daughter to a gully, or kind of
hollow washed out by running water, and there the three
lay in safety until the army had passed by. Thinking
themselves safe, the children bore their aged mother to the house
again; but the Union troops were driven back, and the fight
again raged so hotly around them that it was impossible to
leave. The old lady lay there amid all the remaining terrors
of the day; the house was riddled with balls, and when the
tide of battle had rolled on, she was found so badly wounded
that she died soon after.
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