Civil War Battle Names
So many battlefields of the Civil War bear double names that we cannot believe the duplication has been accidental. It is the unusual which impresses. The troops of the North came mainly from cities, towns, and villages, and were, therefore, impressed by some natural object near the scene of the conflict and named the battle from it. The soldiers from the South were chiefly from the country and were, therefore, impressed by some artificial object near the field of action. In one section the naming has been after the handiwork of God; in the other section it has been after the handiwork of man. Thus, the first passage of arms is called the battle of Bull Run at the North,---the name of a little stream. At the South it takes the name of Manassas, from a railroad station. The second battle on the same ground is called the Second Bull Run by the North, and the Second Manassas by the South. Stone's defeat is the battle of Ball's Bluff With the Federals, and the battle of Leesburg with the Confederates. The battle called by General Grant, Pittsburg Landing, a natural object, was named Shiloh, after a church, by his antagonist. Rosecrans called his first great fight with Bragg, the battle of Stone River, while Bragg named it after Murfreesboro, a village. So McClellan's battle of the Chickahominy, a little river, was with Lee the battle of Cold Harbor, a tavern. The Federals speak of the battle of Pea Ridge, of the Ozark range of mountains, and the Confederates call it after Elk Horn, a country inn. The Union soldiers called the bloody battle three days after South Mountain from the little stream, Antietam, and the Southern troops named it after the village of Sharpsburg. Many instances might be given of this double naming by the opposing forces. According to the same law of the unusual, the war-songs of a people have generally been written s. The bards who followed the banners of the feudal lords, sang of their exploits, and stimulated them and their retainers to deeds of high emprise, wore no armor and carried no swords. So, too, the impassioned orators, who roused our ancestors in 1776 with the thrilling cry, "Liberty or Death," never once put themselves in the way of a death by lead or steel, by musket-ball or bayonet stab. The noisy speakers of 1861, who fired the Northern heart and who fired the Southern heart, never did any other kind of firing.
Source: Excerpt from an article written by General D.H. Hill, late of the Confederate army, that appeared in "Battles and Leaders of the Civil War."
Battles With Dual Names
Date of Battle
July 21, 1861 First Manassas Bull Run Aug. 10, 1861 Oak Hills Wilson's Creek Oct. 21, 1861 Leesburg Ball's Bluff Jan. 19, 1862 Mill Springs Logan's Cross Roads Mar. 7-8, 1862 Elkhorn Tavern Pea Ridge Apr. 6-7, 1862 Shiloh Pittsburg Landing June 27, 1862 Gaines's Mill Chickahominy Aug. 29-30,1862 Second Manassas Second Bull Run Sept. 1, 1862 Ox Hill Chantilly Sept. 14, 1862 Boonsboro South Mountain Sept. 17, 1862 Sharpsburg Antietam Oct. 8, 1862 Perryville Chaplin Hills Dec. 31, 1862-
Jan 2, 1863
Murfreesboro Stones River Apr. 8, 1864 Mansfield Sabine Cross Roads Sept. 19, 1864 Winchester Opequon Creek
This Page last updated 04/21/05