Lead: One hundred and fifty years ago the Republic was facing its greatest crisis. This continuing series examines the American Civil War. It is A House Divided.
Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.
Content: In summer 1861, with the cry, ‘On to Richmond,’ shouted from newspapers and legislatures, the Union Army moved to secure Manassas, Virginia, a strategic railroad junction. This was an early step in its aggressive strategy designed to capture the Confederate capital and deal the rebels a death blow. Reluctantly General Irvin McDowell slowly moved his 30,000 green Yankee troops toward Manassas where he confronted 20,000 rebels led by the flamboyant General Pierre G.T. Beauregard, leader of the attack on Ft. Sumter which had precipitated the war. So slowly did McDowell move his troops that at the last minute Beauregard was re-enforced by 11,000 more rebels from the Shenandoah Valley, commanded by Joseph E. Johnson who gave the Union Army in Harper’s Ferry the slip.