First skirmishes of the Civil War

June 14, 2011
JUNE 1861:
ACTION IN OUR AREA

- In Virginia, Union and Confederate troops tangle at Fairfax Court House and at Vienna. The Confederates win both skirmishes.

- Confederate soldiers near Philippi, in western Virginia, are awakened by a surprise attack. Because of their rapid retreat, newspapers call this action “The Philippi Races.”

- In southeastern Virginia, inexperienced Union soldiers fire on one another before being defeated at Big Bethel by a Confederate force about a third the size of theirs. Historians call this the war’s first land battle.

- Union soldiers march into Maryland’s Montgomery County and take control of the Potomac River ferries.

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