About this episode:
In the first months after war began, both North and South mobilized. Men were needed to fill the ranks. In the North, the 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, called for 75,000 three-month volunteers. Seeking excitement, adventure and certain this would be a short war, they came en masse. To them, politicians and the press, the war's strategy was simple, "On to Richmond."
This is the story of how wrong they were. July 21, 1861 - a day when expected battlefield glory morphed into the grim reality of what war truly is. Hard lessons learned some 25 miles to the southwest of Washington City - on the plains of Manassas.