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The First Battle of Bull Run, Virginia, Sunday afternoon, July 21, 1861

The First Battle of Bull Run, Virginia, Sunday afternoon, July 21, 1861

This illustration shows the chaotic retreat of Union soldiers after their defeat by Confederate troops. The retreat was difficult because the carriages of spectators blocked their route. The bloody battle and shocking defeat made members of Congress aware that the Civil War would not be a quick and easy victory.

The J. Howard Brown company, ca. 1884, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress