The Battle of Bull Run | Photo credit: Youtube

Johnny Horton was among the legends of country music who recorded several songs that pertain to wars. Hence, he was considered the American war balladeer. Through his music, he was able to bring back to the present some significant remnants of several American battles. Among the notable war-related songs he’s recorded include “The Battle of New Orleans” and Sink the Bismarck.”  The former even earned him a Grammy Award for Best Country and Western song in 1960.

Here is another Horton’s war-themed song called “Battle of Bull Run.” While the song did not achieve the same success as The Battle of New Orleans,” it also had its claim to fame. The song became the most popular subject of war related to music during and right after the Civil War. In the song, the narrator was able to portray the emotions of soldiers and civilians alike on both sides of the war.

The War History Behind the Song

The “Battle of Bull Run” also known as Battle of Manassas pertains to two disputes during the American Civil War – the First and Second Battle of Bull Run. The conflicts occurred only with a thirteen-month difference. The First Battle of Bull Run took place near Manassas in Virginia on July 21, 1861. The war was spurred by the Union states’ desire to take the capital of the Confederate states – Richmond, Virginia. The former, led by Brig. General Irvin McDowell, believed doing this would put the revolution to an end. However, the Unions failed in their mission resulting in a bloody war. This was considered as the first big land battle of the American Civil War. The high casualty rate and the brutality of the fight brought significance to this battle. Likewise, it provided an initial signal of a long and fierce affair.

The Second Battle of Bull Run which commenced on August 28, 1862, that lasted for three days, ended the American Civil War. This time, it was the Confederates led by Gen. Robert E. Lee who started the combat. He sent half of his army, headed by Stonewall Jackson who was the hero of the First Battle of Manassas to seize the rebels’ supply base. The Federals, commanded by John Pope had a brutal encounter with Lee’s armies resulting in the huge loss of numerous men from both troops. On the third day of the war, another set of Lee’s warriors arrived. Although the Union’s men managed to launch a counterattack, that only forced their main leader, Pope, to withdraw his battered men that night.

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