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At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 65,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Averell, William W. (1832-1900) [Recount of Battle of Bull Run]

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC09268 Author/Creator: Averell, William W. (1832-1900) Place Written: s.l. Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 31 October 1887 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: Union general vividly recounts his first battle, at Bull Run in 1861: "My feeling on entering the battle was, as I saw the enemy hastening to their positions, that there was a great and useless Crime about to be Committed; - the second as I can remember the whizzing and hurtling of the first solid shot from the enemy through the trees and tearing along the ground was of the fierce and terrible force of a cannon ball\85 and to skip to the last uncontrollable indignation and mortification at the failure of our army to win the battle as with the rear we withdrew from the field. I trust you will never be called upon to undergo such trying Sensations."


Historical Era: Rise of Industrial America, 1877-1900

Keywords/Subjects: First Battle of Bull Run (Manassas), Confederate States of America, Union Forces, Military History

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