Atley has been studying Civil War History in school. He considers himself an expert on the subject and after hearing him spout off all he knew while we explored Bull Run Battlefield I think he is right. On the way there he explained to us that many Civil War Battles had two names for example the battle of Bull Run is also called the Battle of Manassas or the battle of Sharpsburg is also called the battle of Antietam. He explained that the south usually named the battle after the nearest town while the north named the battle after the closest body of water.
Bull Run was one of the first real battles of the Civil War, taking place July 21, 1861. People from both sides assumed this would be the only real skirmish of the war and actually packed picnics to observe from the surrounding hillsides. The Confederates won the first battle of Bull Run and it was there that Thomas Jackson earned the nickname Stonewall when he was observed staying perfectly still and stoic as volley landed all around him. The second battle of Bull Run took place a year later. It was even more bloody than the first, almost 30,000 soldiers lost their lives.
As you can observe the cannons were especially exciting to the kids. We have had the chance to visit many Civil War battle sites and each one is special. It may sound a little corny but there is a sacred feeling you get when you visit and read about the places and the battles that shaped the future of our country.
After we finished the boys wanted to eat Civil War food, hardtack to be specific. Apparently, Chick-Fil-A would not suffice. I took them to Cracker Barrel. They were in awe and totally convinced that we had gone back in time and were eating just like they did in the 1860's.