On this day in 1861, everyone was like, Whoa! Yesterday was a long day! Which is not unlike this day in 2011, at least for me, having spent yesterday touring Jamestown, Yorktown, and Williamsburg, and, quite honestly, getting my fill of people in tricornered hats. That being said, it was probably somewhat tougher on those who endured the First Battle of Manassas. Or, for that matter, the people who endured the 150th anniversary of the First Battle of Manassas. (Some events have even been canceled due to heat.)
As you can see from the lithograph above, the battle was a glorious, if at times chaotic, victory for Confederate forces, and once all the hard feelings had been straightened out post-Appomattox, one that both sides were happy to commemorate fifty years later. Below are some images from that half-a-centennial celebration in 1911.
Above: This was, perhaps, the law office in Manassas, with a sign that reads, “Veterans register and receive badges here.” I wonder where the reenactors were supposed to sign up.
Above: Two Confederate veterans shake hands, congratulating each other on … having survived? winning the battle but losing the war? still fitting into their uniforms?
Above: W. C. Round, a Confederate veteran with his badge, which reads, “I fought at the First Battle of Manassas and all I got was this stupid badge!”
Above: President William Howard Taft warms up the crowd with his famous “You might be a Confederate if …” routine. As in, “If you have a velvet painting of Robert E. Lee in your parlor, you might be a Confederate!” Jeers and cheers are heard from the crowd, and one old Reb yells out, “If you’ve ever worn a chamber pot as a hat while in Louisiana, you might be a Yankee!”
Above: Confederate and Union veterans pose together moments before a massive, beard-tugging brawl breaks out, Confederate reinforcements show up from the Valley, and the Grand Army of the Republic is sent scurrying back to D.C.