- The Bull Run, or Manassas, campaign -- January to July, 1861.
Of the four columns of Federal invasion in 1861, by which Scott and Lincoln expected to overrun and subjugate Virginia in ninety days, the third, that from Washington toward Richmond, was the most important, as it had for its object, not only a direct movement upon the capital of Virginia and of the Confederacy, but also the protection of the Federal capital; furthermore, it was under the special supervision of the general-in-chief of the United States army, Lieut.-Gen. Winfield Scott. The important result of the operations of that line of invasion was the famous Bull Run, or Manassas, campaign of 1861. The events leading up to this require at least a brief notice. President Buchanan, alarmed by the action of the Southern States and by the excitement throughout the Union that followed the election of Lincoln, called Scott, from the headquarters of the army in New York, to Washington, and on the last day of 1860 conferred with him in reference to the protection of that city and of the coming inauguration of Lincoln, both of which, he was led to believe, were threatened with violence. As the result of this, Col. Charles P. Stone was appointed inspector-general for the special purpose of reorganizing and arming the volunteer militia companies of the District of Columbia, in such a way as to secure their loyalty to the Union, in the belief that these would furnish all the military protection Washington then needed. This work was thoroughly done, and these citizen soldiery served as guards in the city and at the inauguration of President Lincoln, on the 4th of March, 1861; and sixteen companies of them, organized into battalions, were mustered into the service of the United States, about the 12th of April, when Fort Sumter was fired on, and became the nucleus for. the great volunteer army that later assembled  at Washington in response to Lincoln's call of April 15th. The first State troops to reach Washington after Lincoln's call was the Sixth Massachusetts, which was attacked in passing through the streets of Baltimore, on the 19th of April, by unorganized citizens, but reached Washington late that day and was encamped in the capitol. After the passage of these troops, the railways from Baltimore north to Harrisburg and east to Philadelphia were broken in consequence of the destruction of bridges by Southern sympathizers, and were not again opened for travel until the 7th of May; but in the meantime, troops in large numbers were brought to Washington from the North and the West by steamers from Perryville, on the Susquehanna, on the road to Philadelphia, down the bay to Annapolis, and thence by rail across to Washington, and also around the coast to Chesapeake bay, and up that and the Potomac, so that quite an army was gathered in that city when Col. J. K. Mansfield took command of it on the 27th of April. Steps were taken to guard the bridges from Virginia and all other approaches, Lincoln on the same day calling for twenty-five regiments of regulars in addition to the 75,000 three-months' men previously called. On the 25th of April, the Confederates planted batteries on Arlington heights, and placed guards in Alexandria and along the Potomac above and below Washington. On the 28th, Federal troops guarded the northern, and Confederate troops the southern, end of the long bridge; but on the 30th, General Lee ordered the withdrawal of all troops between the long bridge and Alexandria, to avoid provoking a collision for which he was unprepared. On the 5th of May, the Confederate forces in Alexandria, some 500 in number, including 70 cavalry, under Lieut.-Col. A. S. Taylor, alarmed by a rumored attack, evacuated Alexandria, without orders, and fell back to Springfield. General Cocke, in command along the Potomac, from his headquarters at Culpeper promptly ordered them back. On the 9th two Virginia regiments of infantry were ordered to Cocke, and on that day he located his headquarters at Manassas Junction and began the gathering of troops at that point, establishing connections with Col. Daniel Ruggles, in command at Fredericksburg with his advance at Aquia creek on the Potomac,  and strengthening Leesburg, under command of Colonel Hunton, with several regiments of infantry and companies of cavalry and artillery, to protect that place, the line of the railway to Alexandria, and watch the fords of the Potomac. On the 12th, Federal gunboats in the Potomac were brought up in front of Alexandria. On the 21st of May, Brig.-Gen. M. L. Bonham was put in command of the Alexandria line, and established his headquarters at Manassas Junction. Troops from all portions of the South were ordered forward to that place, which, it was rumored, was threatened with early attack. On May 24th, the day after the citizens of Virginia approved her ordinance of secession, about a dozen regiments of Federal infantry, with cavalry and artillery, at 2 a. m. crossed the Potomac by the aqueduct and the long bridge, and by steamer at Alexandria, and took possession of Arlington heights, Alexandria and the intermediate front of the Potomac, driving out the Confederates, some 500 men, from Alexandria, at half-past 4, and capturing Ball's company of cavalry. The Confederates fell back to Manassas and the Federals at once began fortifying their front, after advancing their pickets several miles on the roads leading into Virginia. The supposition of Colonel Terrett, who evacuated Alexandria, was that the Federals proposed to advance toward Leesburg. The next day Bonham reported to Lee that he then had at Manassas Junction but 500 infantry, four pieces of artillery and one troop of cavalry. Before the opening of the Manassas campaign there were a number of minor affairs, of which a condensed account may be here given:
On May 21st, and again on June 1st, two armed steamers attacked the Confederate battery established at Aquia creek on the Potomac, but without doing much damage. Colonel Ruggles promptly moved 700 men across from Fredericksburg, with some 6-pounder rifle guns, and engaged the gunboats successfully. He then established Bate's Tennessee regiment in a camp at Brooke Station, and returned the rest of his forces to Fredericksburg. On June 1st,