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advised it, but for the simple reason that the North was tired of waiting and was impatient to strike a decisive blow.
The battle began on a sweltering hot Sunday in July (July 21, 1861). At first the Union troops drove the Confederates from their position. General Bee, one of the Southern leaders, rushing up to General Jackson cried out, "General, they are beating us back." "We will give them the bayonet," said Jackson quietly. That reply encouraged General Bee. Rallying his men, he shouted, "Look! there is Jackson standing like a stone wall!" It was true; and "Stonewall " Jackson,1 as the Confederate general was ever after called, used "the bayonet" so effectually that the Union advance was checked, and the Southerners held their ground until heavy reinforcements came from the Shenandoah Valley and drove the national troops from the hard-fought field. They fled back to Washington in confusion and terror. It was the first panic of the war.
BATTLE OF BULL RUN.
324. Results of the Defeat at Bull Run. Some failures are simply stepping stones to final success. The defeat at Bull Run was such a case. Instead of discouraging the people of the North, it roused them to new and greater effort. At the very time the defeated and disheartened Union soldiers were pouring over the Long Bridge across the Potomac into Washington, Congress voted to raise 500,000 men and $500,000,000 to carry on the war. The cry now was, "Drill and organize!" General McClellan came fresh from his victories in West Virginia to take command of the army. He taught them the great lesson, that enthusiasm without military organization is of no more use than steam without an engine. For the next six months and more
1 General Thomas J. Jackson, of Virginia, was born in 1824; died 1863. He was one of the most remarkable men who fought on the side of the South. His character may be fitly summed up in his motto, "Do your duty, and leave the rest to Providence." His death was the heaviest personal loss the South sustained during the war. Next to Lee, "Stonewall" Jackson was the ablest general in the Confederacy, respected alike by those who fought under him and those who fought against him.
there was no general movement, but, as the newspapers said, was quiet on the Potomac";1 that quiet, however, meant that both sides were now getting ready to fight in terrible earnest.
325. Union Plan of the War. - Gradually a plan for the war in defence of the Union took shape; it was this: 1. To maintain a strict blockade2 of all Southern ports, and thus cut off the South from getting supplies from abroad for carrying on the war. 2. To attack and take Richmond. 3. To open the lower Mississippi, with the Tennessee and the Cumberland, which the Confederate forts had closed to navigation. 4. To break through the Confederate line in the West, march an army through to the Atlantic, and thence northward to Virginia.
326. The Confederate War-Vessels; Seizure of Mason and Slidell. While the Union forces were completing the blockade, and getting possession of important points like Fort Hatteras and Port Royal on the Southern coast, Jefferson Davis was not idle. He succeeded in buying or building a number of war-vessels in Great Britain which in time destroyed so many merchant ships owned in the North that unarmed vessels no longer dared to carry the stars and stripes. Later, the Alabama, built in England, was added to the Confederate fleet and inflicted immense damage on Union commerce, for which at the end of the war England had to pay roundly.
Early in November (1861) the Confederacy undertook to send two commissioners or agents Mason and Slidell — to Europe to get aid for the Southern cause and also to endeavor to persuade England and France to acknowledge the independence of the Confederate states.
1 On October 21, 1861, a body of Union troops two thousand strong was beaten by a large force of Confederates at Ball's Bluff on the Potomac, and on August 10 of the same year General Lyon was defeated and killed at the battle of Wilson's Creek, Missouri.
2 This blockade was maintained by stationing vessels of war in front of every Southern port, thus effectually closing them (in most cases) to all commerce with Europe,
THE CONFEDERATE WAR-VESSELS.
Captain Wilkes of the United States navy stopped the British mail steamer Trent, on which Mason and Slidell had embarked for England, and took them both prisoners. England at once demanded that the national government should give them up. The North protested, but President Lincoln said, "We fought Great Britain in 1812 for doing just what Captain Wilkes has done. We must give up the prisoners to England." It was accordingly done, but Mason and Slidell, though they went to Europe, failed to accomplish anything of importance for the Confederacy.
327. The Merrimac destroys the Cumberland and the Congress; the Monitor. When the Confederates seized the Norfolk navy yard,' they got possession of the United States ship of war Merrimac.
the vessel with a very heavy double plating of iron, they sent her out under command of Captain Buchanan to destroy the Union
The Monitor and the Merrimac.
war-vessels at the
mouth of the James River off Fortress Monroe. The Union ships were of wood; they could not resist an antagonist that was a floating fort rather than an ordinary war-vessel. The balls from their guns made no more impression on the iron shell of the monster which now attacked them, than a sparrow's bill would make on the back of an alligator. The Merrimac sunk the Cumberland, which carried down with her many sick and wounded men,2 and destroyed the Congress. The next day (Sunday, March 9, 1862) the Merrimac returned to complete the destruction of the fleet; but suddenly a strange little craft appeared, looking like a "cheese-box on a
1 See note 2, page 288. The Confederates named the Merrimac, the Virginia,
2 See Longfellow's poem on the loss of the Cumberland.
raft." This was the Monitor,1 a new Union vessel made of iron. She was commanded by Lieutenant Worden. The Merrimac now found that she had got her match. After a terrific battle the Confederate vessel in a leaking condition was glad to escape back to the navy yard; the "little giant" had practically won the day. It was perhaps "the most important single event of the war." If the Merrimac had gained the victory, she might next have gone up the Potomac and destroyed the national capital. In that case European nations might have acknowledged the independence of the South, and demanded that the blockade be raised and the ports of the Confederacy thrown open to the commerce of the world. The United States now built more monitors, and by the end of the year had a fleet of several hundred effective war-vessels of different kinds, both on the ocean and on the western rivers.
328. The War in the West; Capture of Fort Henry and Fort Donelson. At the West the line of the Confederate army, under General A. S. Johnston, stretched from Mill Spring, and Bowling Green, in Kentucky, through Fort Donelson on the Cumberland, and Fort Henry on the Tennessee, to Columbus on the Mississippi. General Halleck, in command of the greater part of the Union forces of the West, resolved to break that line, to enter the cotton states, and also to open the Mississippi. In January, 1862, General Thomas attacked Mill Spring, and drove
1 The Monitor was built by Captain Ericsson, the inventor of the screw-propeller for steamships, and of the hot-air engine. She was an iron vessel of small size, sitting so low in the water that scarcely anything of her hull was visible. In the centre of her deck stood a revolving iron turret, which carried two cannon, sending solid shot weighing one hundred and sixty-six pounds. The invention of the Monitor revolutionized the construction of war-vessels throughout the world. Few wooden ships of war have since been built.
2 General Halleck was born near Utica, N. Y., in 1814; died 1872. He graduated at West Point and served in the Mexican War. He was appointed a major-general of the United States army in August, 1861. He received command of the department of Missouri (with other states) in November, and of the department of the Mississippi in March, 1862. From July, 11, 1862, to March, 1864, he was generalin-chief of the armies of the United States, and had his headquarters at Washington,