July 21, 1861
On July 21 1861, Federal forces and Confederate troops converged near Manassas Junction, the junction of the Manassas Gap Railroad and the Orange and Alexandria Railroads. Federal troops hoped to seize the junction and thereby deny Confederate forces the advantages of using the railroads to transport troops or resupply.
The battle developed slowly but eventually involved over 35,000 Federal troops and 32,000 Confederate forces. Federal forces under General Irwin McDowell attempted to flank Confederate positions by crossing Bull Run but were turned back. The end result of the battle was a Confederate victory and Federal forces retreated to the defenses of Washington, DC. One week later, General George McClellan was appointed head of the Army of the Potomac.
The three maps cited below all use the name “Bull Run” to identify the battle. A convention developed during the war whereby Federal maps named battles after local water features (Bull Run, Antietam, etc.) while Confederate maps named battles after local towns (Manassas, Sharpsburg, etc.).
United States Army, Corps of Engineers. Map of the battlefield of Bull Run, Virginia. Brig. Gen. Irvin McDowell commanding the U.S. forces, Gen. [P.] G. T. Beauregard commanding the Confederate forces, July 21st 1861 Compiled from a map accompanying the report of Brig. Genl. McDowell and a map made under the direction of Genl. Beauregard. Published by authority of the Hon. the Secretary of War in the office of the Chief of Engineers, U.S. Army. [S.l.], office of the Chief of Engineers, 1877. 1 map, col., 61 x 92 cm.
Catalog record: http://lccn.loc.gov/99439142
National Tribune. The first battle of Bull Run. July 21, 1861. Washington, Dec 26, 1895. [S.l., 1895] 1 map, 32 x 39 cm., col., on sheet 58 x 42 cm.
Catalog record: http://lccn.loc.gov/99439122
Whipple, Amiel Weeks. Plan of the battlefield at Bull Run, July 21st 1861. 1 ms. map : col., cloth ; 50 x 62 cm.
Catalog record: http://lccn.loc.gov/2009655025