One hundred and fifty years ago, on July 21, 1861, the American Civil War began with the Battle of Bull Run, also know as the Battle of First Manassas. It should have been an easy victory for the Union troops, but it turned into a rout instead. Folks from Washington DC, who came to watch the battle while picnicking, as if it were an afternoon's entertainment, ended up running for their lives when the battle expanded. Casualties were relatively light, but were much higher in the second battle of Manassas which took place a year later.
I live now about five miles from the Bull Run battlefield. In fact I have to drive through it to get to any of the stores in Manassas. In addition, the artist's muse and I have spent some time wandering around the battlefield, observing the monuments and historic markers. It's interesting to be living in an area so steeped in history.
After reading the headlines of the last few years, I sometimes wonder whether the hostile rhetoric that I hear is a sign that America may be headed for another civil war. For those who think that this might be a good idea, take a look at your history books (or Wikipedia) and see what the first civil war cost us.