Living: Bang, Bang! You're History, Buddy

America may be at peace, but battle re-enactments rage on

The first Union artillery shells detonated at 1 p.m. Picnickers from Washington, society women in long dresses and their escorts in string ties and long black coats, watched from their hillside vantage point, eating fried chicken as they waited for the Federal troops to crush the Confederates. At the outset, this battle near the railhead called Manassas Junction went according to Northern expectations.

Union forces swept over one hill, then another, as the Rebs staggered and dropped. The Federal's horse-drawn artillery batteries, seasoned regular Army units, were ordered to hold their fire, when a regiment of Brigadier General Thomas ("Stonewall") Jackson's...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!