Talk:First Battle of Bull Run

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Page protection[edit]

This article is vandalised several times a day. Has anyone considered page protection for this article? --Daysleeper47 (talk) 14:50, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

I requested page protection since no one responded. --Daysleeper47 (talk) 18:29, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
I concur. This article seems to be vandalized every few days. For the time being, semi-protection (so that only logged in users can edit the content) is probably a good idea for it. --Ladislaus (talk) 19:51, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
Thanks to page protection this article hasn't been vandalised in over a week. Thanks! --Daysleeper47 (talk) 18:41, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

I understand where you are coming from, but that prevents good information from non-users, such as I, from adding to the article. I would like to add a picture of the actual railroad that they fought over (from my vacation listed above) but cannot add it because I do not have an account. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:42, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

My suggestion would be to create an account. Unfortunetly this article was being vandalised several times a day. It had to stop and so this page was protected. I apoligize for the inconvenience as I would really be interested in seeing the picture. --Daysleeper47 (talk) 13:24, 13 May 2008 (UTC)


Does anyone have a better map, I am trying to find where cub run creek is on the map, and it is not labled, if you can, get a better, more detailed map.

Try my Website: [ Bull Run Map

--AJ00200 (talk) 02:13, 30 January 2009 (UTC)]

Misattributed quote in wikipedia article[edit]

In the wikipedia article appears the following:

McDowell, however, was concerned about the untried nature of his army. He was reassured by Maj. Gen. Winfield Scott, general-in-chief of the U.S. Army, "You are green, it is true, but they are green also; you are all green alike."

The source for this is listed as:

Davis, William C., and the Editors of Time-Life Books, First Blood: Fort Sumter to Bull Run, Time-Life Books, 1983, ISBN 0-8094-4704-5, pg. 10.

It is my understanding, however, that the quote in question is in reality Lincoln's.

My source:

Williams, T. Harry, Lincoln and his Generals, Gramercy, 1952, ISBN 0-5171-6237-7, pg. 21.

Jflan17 (talk) 21:30, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

I believe Jflan17 is correct. Checking four sources at hand, three attribute the quote to Lincoln. Three cites for:

McPherson, James M., Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era, 1988, pg. 336.,+it+is+true,+but+they+are+green+also%3B+you+are+all+green+alike&source=bl&ots=LxEH8Quue0&sig=Fr-W1oQzGTw20o88isIYUPC3R_8&hl=en&ei=uESnSbjdOIyPnge4p6jaDw&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=9&ct=result#PPA348-IA3,M1

Eicher, David J., The Longest Night: A Military History of the Civil War, 2001, pg. 79.,+it+is+true,+but+they+are+green+also%3B+you+are+all+green+alike&source=bl&ots=_jeHARZRke&sig=HnI9m_AbHNaCtLWMHUrIlom5nUI&hl=en&ei=uESnSbjdOIyPnge4p6jaDw&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=3&ct=result#PPA78,M1

A 1904 publication attributes the quote to the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War.,+it+is+true,+but+they+are+green+also%3B+you+are+all+green+alike&source=bl&ots=ucw2FQniz5&sig=iv8R2qAor-zhC1sSc5CjqNYXjO0&hl=en&ei=uESnSbjdOIyPnge4p6jaDw&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=6&ct=result#PPA244,M1

I believe a preponderance of the evidence points to Lincoln making the statement and will change the article to reflect that fact without objection.

Wilkyisdashiznit (talk) 02:39, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

I fixed it. Thanks. Hal Jespersen (talk) 16:28, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

7 November 2008[edit]

I moved this from the page to here:

Japanese Involvement
Although still widely debated, many historians agree that Japan sent troops to aide the Confederate Army during the First Battle of Bull Run. It was said that the Emperor of Japan and Confederate President Jefferson Davis both had a great dislike for African-Americans and the continuation of slavery in the south profited not only the Gross Domestic Product of the South, but also influenced shipping imports, especially in Kyoto. Emperor Kōmei sent his 55th regiment, also referred to as the カタ片仮カナ名, which is Japanese for "Clan Impossible." Historian James McPherson wrote the book: Sushi & the Slaves about this event. Of the 320 troops sent over, 45 were killed and 120 wounded.

Well written but as far as I can make out rubbish. Thoughts? Kresock (talk) 04:57, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

Agreed, this is a hoax. ⋙–Berean–Hunter—► ((⊕)) 12:51, 7 November 2008 (UTC)


"near Manassas Junction. McDowell's ambitious plan for a surprise flank attack against the Confederate left was not well executed by his E. Johnston]]" Typo or vandalism - either way the sentence makes no sense. (talk) 23:26, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

The latter. Fixed. Thanks for finding. Hal Jespersen (talk) 00:46, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

"Demonstration attacks"[edit]

"He ordered demonstration attacks north..." What is a demonstration attack? (talk) 23:33, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

You can find definitions of military terms in the Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms (Joint Pub 1-02), which is online at "1. An attack or show of force on a front where a decision is not sought, made with the aim of deceiving the enemy." Hal Jespersen (talk) 00:46, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
A more direct link: Hal Jespersen (talk) 00:49, 24 May 2009 (UTC)


These battle articles are always LONG on tactical detail & short on logistics. I have some questions:

  • Is there a good source for where prisoners from both sides were sent after this [& other] battles?
  • How were soldiers organized in the confusion after major battles like this one? Some units must have been combined when leaders or large numbers of soldiers were killed? Were records kept for individual [live] soldiers or just units?
  • Where did the surviving units go after the battle? Were they split up & sent separate ways, or kept together as an army?
  • Presumably, clean-up crews gathered identifiers from the bodies [dog-tags?] to report fatalities?
  • At what point were the bounty jumpers leaving their units, & how did they manage to escape? Since there was initially no conscription, how were these deserters identified & captured, as they often were?

Maybe a separate article on "Civil War Battle Logistics" would be useful. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Xeliff (talkcontribs) 08:24, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

(On Wikipedia talk pages, new comments typically go at the bottom of the page.) Your comment about battle articles being short on logistics is a correct observation, but the articles are based on secondary sources that generally have the same characteristic. (They sometimes talk about the logistical difficulties of bringing an army to the battlefield, but rarely about the aftermath, with the exception of Retreat from Gettysburg.) I have my doubts about whether a generic battle logistics article would be useful, but you are welcome to start one. Hal Jespersen (talk) 15:59, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
re dogtags -- dog tags didn't exist in their modern form in the civil war. individual soldiers might purchase medallions that served the same purpose from vendors in the camps, but there was no organized identification system. as far as organization goes, new recruits went to new units, old units dwindled in size, and might become quite small before they eventually would be consolidated with other veteran units. Nfgusedautoparts (talk) 00:37, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

File:First Manassas map2.jpg to appear as POTD soon[edit]

Hello! This is a note to let the editors of this article know that File:First Manassas map2.jpg will be appearing as picture of the day on July 21, 2010. You can view and edit the POTD blurb at Template:POTD/2010-07-21. If this article needs any attention or maintenance, it would be preferable if that could be done before its appearance on the Main Page so Wikipedia doesn't look bad. :) Thanks! howcheng {chat} 23:38, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

Picture of the day
Confederate map, First Battle of Bull Run

A hachure map of Confederate Army positions for the First Battle of Bull Run, the first major battle of the American Civil War, which took place on July 21, 1861. Often called the First Battle of Manassas in the Southern United States, the Union expected to win easily, but their army under Brig. Gen. Irvin McDowell was defeated and forced to retreat. Both sides were sobered by the violence and casualties of the battle, and they realized that the war would likely be much longer and bloodier than they had anticipated.

Map: Unknown; Restoration: Lise Broer
ArchiveMore featured pictures...

Wrong Title[edit]

[moving new comments to the bottom of the page, per custom]

Battle of Manassas is a more common name than Bull Run I believe the title should be switched accordingly.

Government website is in agreement:

Thanks —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:13, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

I'm a Texan, so I tend to favor Manassas, but I do believe that Bull Run is more common - also, victors get to write the history, and Bull Run is the Union name for the battle. I'll still call it Manassas myself, but I think it is propert to keep the Wikipedia article name as Bull Run. (talk) 20:54, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
This subject has been discussed many times in the last seven years and the consensus has been that the general reader will be more familiar with the name Bull Run than Manassas. (I am a Civil War buff myself and am perfectly comfortable saying First Manassas with my roundtable buddies, but I am not exactly the target audience for this article.) I recently noticed that James McPherson, in his Battle Cry of Freedom, gets around this naming dichotomy by using both names interchangeably. He notes that there are some prominent battles (Shiloh and Antietam, for instance) in which one side's name is used overwhelmingly today, but that both Bull Run and Manassas are equally valid. For the title of the article, of course, we could not play that same trick. However, we do give prominent notice to the alternative name in the introductory sentence and in the information box. Hal Jespersen (talk) 22:52, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

SOme Comment Hello, my wife and I have been visiting in Manassas on vacation this weekend to see all the activities for the sesquicentennial remembrance of the war. There is nothing around here at all that says anything about the battle of "Bull Run". And when I went to read up on this battle here on wiki, I did not realize at first that the page was misnamed because it went right to the page at first. I don't know what mafia is forcing this page to retain the incorrect name, but I hope you all see fit to quit your bad business. I've seen this same thing on a few other pages on the Civil War, where there is incorrect information, and you can tell that people are hovering over the pages and forcing their edits into the pages. That is such a bad problem with Wiki. This page, and its title of Bull Run is poster child for everything that is bad about Wikipedia. I hope you all are satisfied. Jay M. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:24, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

On Wikipedia, we use the most common name. In the corpus of english language publications, the most common name is Battle of Bull Run. Please see the comparisons.
⋙–Berean–Hunter—► 18:17, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
please see — Preceding unsigned comment added by Johnnywebster (talkcontribs) 09:10, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

The information by Berean Hunter is irrelevant. Wikipedia is striving to be more respected in academic circles. It doesn't really matter what most frequently appears in this book or that book; the relevant question is what Civil War Academic Historians call the battles and what "rule" is used to determine the correct nomenclature. These battles are "First Manassas" and "Second Manassas" because of a neutral objective process determined many decades ago by academia. To continue calling this "Bull Run" in the title of the article makes Wikipedia laughable, and make it appear that the article is being controlled by those with an agenda. (talk) 01:11, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

Sorry but WP:COMMONNAME is our policy and it isn't negotiable. You have also offered no proof to back up your assertions.
⋙–Berean–Hunter—► 15:37, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
I would refer the commenter to five paragraphs earlier in this discussion, where I identify Prof. James McPherson (winner of the Pulitzer Prize for history with his Battle Cry of Freedom) as using Bull Run and Manassas interchangeably because he says that one is not superior to the other. Dr. McPherson is a gold standard academic and I can provide other academic references that use the more popular name. If we were having this discussion in the 1930s, you could cite Douglas Southall Freeman as the predominant academic historian, and we would probably have named the article differently back then. But times change. Hal Jespersen (talk) 21:08, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
I apologize. I am more familiar with other pages where such a change to match standards is accepted. It appears that you guys who have obtained control of the page have an agenda/bias behind your desire to name the battles as you do. I am not sure if it is even woth the effort to have you follow correct nomenclature standards, but let me try to provide some support from academic sources. I would like to appeal to your sense of trying to be accurate and follow academic standards rather than your own bias. The National Park Service uses the name Manassas ( The American Battlefields Protection Program (ABPP) which is a government program calls in Manassas ( Shelby Foote, in his massive multi volume history, uses Manassas as its primary name both in the title of one of the volumes ( and in the text (can be found in the text of the same book). Foote also referred to it as Manassas in his interviews in Burns five-part PBS mini-series. () James McPherson (one of two historians accepted as the leading historian) primarily calls it Manassas in the Pulitzer Prize winning "The Battle Cry of Freedom". (James McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom, 1988). The other historian often called the "leading civil war historians", Bruce Catton, uses Manassas as the primary name (although he tries to go back and forth based on the context of the content) of the battle in his massive three volume history. (Catton, Bill Catton's Civil War, 1951-1953). Ken Burns uses "Manassas" as the primary name in the Five Part miniseries (PBS, The Civil War, 1990). He uses Manasas as the title for the Chapter/Segment about the battle. the Civil War Sites Advisory Commission (charged with protecting battlefields) uses Manassas as the primary name ( Prince William County refers to it as Manassas ( for popular usage for visitors. The convention of having the "winner" name the battle is not new to the Civil War. This is the convention used in all military history. (As a convention, it has some exceptions such as Gettysburg). I feel compelled to say this because so many people think it is some sort of "south will rise again" sentiment behind trying to get the names correct. One example from history is The Battle of Waterloo. It is known as such because this is the name used by the victors (Seventh Coalition). The French had a different name. Historians and Heritage Preservationists have spent decades on this topic in order to help resolve the difficulties in trying to teach Civil War history. The people running this page seem to have their own agenda or a bias toward what they heard the battle called when they first learned about Civil War history. and don't care about all of that past work and the problems that that work solved. (Tneely) I hope my sinature shows up. Tim Neely 20:21, 2 September 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tneely (talkcontribs)

You are incorrect about James McPherson (winner of the Pulitzer Prize for history with his Battle Cry of Freedom). Although McPherson uses "Bull Run" as the Title on his "Disposition of Forces" diagram, the text reads to me that Manassas is the correct name. Why has Wikipedia given control of this document to someone who wants to throw out the agreement on nomenclature that has been hammered out over decades. I hate to use a "loaded phrase", but you appear to be enforcing a politically correct attempt to make sure that everything "southern" is removed from Civil War history. Another reason for the naming convention is that it helps to teach the history. With the exception of Gettysburg (where everyone knows the winner, the naming convention makes it easy to immediately know who the winner was (because the north tended to use geoography and the south cities or towns. This was part of the reason for the acceptance of the convention. Why are you being so stubborn on using the correct name? It really makes you look agenda-driven. And by the way I live in Colorado - not the south Tim Neely 20:45, 2 September 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tneely (talkcontribs)

For McPherson's view on battle naming, see Battle Cry of Freedom, page 346, footnote 7, in which he states "neither name has any intrinsic superiority over the other, so the names are used interchangeably." Otherwise, you are not offering us any new information. We know what the National Park Service and some Virginia politicians and tourist organizations call the battle. Bruce Catton wrote over 50 years ago, so is not an example of modern usage. (His very popular book for American Heritage uses the name Bull Run, by the way.) Shelby Foote, hardly an academic writer (which I mention because you claim we should try to comply with academic standards), widely acknowledged his sympathy for the southern view of the war. If you look at the References/Further reading sections for this article, you will see that Ted Ballard, William C. Davis, Bradley M. Gottfried, David Detzer, and Alan Hankinson wrote book-length studies of the battle and all use Bull Run in their titles. Ethan Rafuse's article in the Encyclopedia of the American Civil Waris named First Battle of Bull Run. The only holdout in this list of titles is by James Longstreet. In the External links, the Civil War Trust, the Animated History guys, and even P.G.T. Beauregard call it Bull Run. So Wikipedia is not some rogue outlier on this issue. The notion that the victors of an individual battle get to name it seems rather anecdotal rather than prescriptive. It is usually more common for the victors of the war to do so. The (multiple) people replying to your complaint do not "own" the article, but we have been around a long time and have witnessed numerous conversations on this issue. The consensus remains that, given Wikipedia's policy on using the common name for a subject, Bull Run is the most common name in current usage for the general public. Hal Jespersen (talk) 22:07, 3 September 2011 (UTC)
I should not have wasted my time. Clearly you have a bias (no place in history) where you do not want to use the correct primary name. If you want to use "popular usage" as the primary guide, then let's look at the PBS Series which is where most of the modern "general" population gained interest and knowledge of the Civil War. Manassas is the name used as the primary name. In Jeff Sharra's works (another "general" example), he correctly has each speaker use the name according to who they are, but uses "manassas" when referring to it generically. I am sure you will have some argument using new and different reasoning order to make sure your bias away from the practice of using the name used by the winner of the battle. I am shocked that you would somehow denegrate Shelby Foote's opinion. He talked about a "supposed" bias because he had some ancestors in the war. He never said that any of his history contained any slant. His writings are one of many excellent sources. Civil War history is incredibly important - bias should be left out. It is a shame that Wikipedia's page is being controlled by those with an agenda other than merely presenting the history. Tim Neely 18:03, 8 September 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tneely (talkcontribs)

There is no "consensus" that "Bull Run" should be used. You are merely using strong arm tactics to keep the title as it is. Wikipedia guidelins tell users to be bold and make edits. That is all I was doing when I changed the Title to its correct Name "First Manassas". I will contiune to do so as you do not own the page. Tim Neely 17:07, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

i was browsing when i stumbled across the first manassas page and fixed it and the second manassas page (i did not bother looking at :the talk page because i thought it was a small mistake
yet within a hour it was changed back by a man citing incorrect sources so i correct the page again and provided him with more accurate sources
about 6 hours latter my corrections had been reverted and i was threatened with a ban
No, you didn't supply sources here. You are being instructed to stop reverting and to discuss otherwise you could be blocked for edit-warring. So what are your sources for this article?
 — Berean Hunter (talk) 16:20, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
i have already supplied sources but i will do it again
just because you think consensus has been reach does not mean it has
please change the name to battle of manassas because that is its common name
Georgeapg (talk) 18:47, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

When you consider the universe of newspapers, magazines, TV, movies, educational materials, web pages, and books, I don't think a search through Google Books can be considered a definitive look at how popular culture refers to something. There is quite a lot of discussion in this Talk page that addresses the issue. Please read it. This article has been named this way over ten years, I think, and no one has offered a compelling reason to change it. Hal Jespersen (talk) 12:53, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

first i only used Google Books because Berean Hunter's only source of proof is from google books research
second the almost unanimous consensus is that the name should be manassas
third compelling proof has been offered time and time again. all this proof has been ignored
forth to name that the govorment useis is manassas
all momorials use manassaa
most civil war experts use manassas
and as i have shown the common name known to the masses is manassas

Judith Henry House[edit]

I altered the caption on the Judith Henry House photo, the house in the park is not actually a restoration of her house, but a different post war construction on the same site. The Park Service signage at the house is very clear on this point.Nfgusedautoparts (talk) 00:37, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

the 11th picture in this set on the civil war trust site is a well known sketch what the Henry House looked like after the battle; it is clearly different from the building on that site today: Manassas Photos Nfgusedautoparts (talk) 01:58, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Aftermath conflict on facts[edit]

I'm currently reading a book, "The Civil War: A Narrative, Volume 1, Fort Sumter to Perryville". After this battle, the book says that many in the South believed that the war would soon be over, since they won this battle.

However, this wiki article says that "Both armies were sobered by the fierce fighting and many casualties, and realized the war was going to be much longer and bloodier than either had anticipated."

That is in conflict with what this book says. Any interest in adding to the page, stating that some in the South felt that with this victory, the war would soon be over? We can site the book I linked to for reference. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mattdruid (talkcontribs) 19:01, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

Please be prepared to provide a page citation and perhaps a snippet of the text that Foote uses to express this opinion. I just reviewed the few pages about the aftermath of the battle and couldn't find it. Hal Jespersen (talk) 14:28, 7 June 2013 (UTC)