The Battle of First Bull Run
Three months after the shelling of Fort Sumter, Union and Confederate forces met for the first time in earnest combat. However, neither side was prepared at this early stage of the war, and confusion reigned on the battlefield. Finally, Confederate reinforcements forced the Union army into a panicked retreat. The intensity—and ill preparedness—of both armies convinced the nation that the conflict between the states would be a long, bloody ordeal.