(1861) Untested troops meet in Civil War’s first big conflictNear Manassas, Virginia, American Civil War foes meet in their first major battle, and while both sides, each around 18,000 strong, are untried and their commands chaotic, a Union delay in positioning proves ultimately deadly as Confederate forces take the advantage.The First Battle of Bull Run, also known as Battle of First Manassas, was fought on July 21, 1861 in Prince William County, Virginia, just north of the city of Manassas and about 25 miles west-southwest of Washington, D.C. It was the first major battle of the American Civil War. The Union’s forces were slow in positioning themselves, allowing Confederate reinforcements time to arrive by rail. Each side had about 18,000 poorly trained and poorly led troops in their first battle. It was a Confederate victory, followed by a disorganized retreat of the Union forces.