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Art of War

Art of War

The Battle of First Manassas, July 21, 1861

This set is the first in our 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War commemorative series. Each year W. Britain will produce at least one limited edition Art of War set to commemorate a pivotal battle from that year’s fighting one-hundred and fifty years ago.

On July 21, 1861 near the railroad junction of Manassas, Virginia and not far from Bull Run creek the first major battle of the American Civil War took place. Around noon the Confederate line on Buck Hill broke and fled back to nearby Henry Hill. Brigadier General Thomas Jonathan Jackson, still in his U.S. blue uniform, arrived just in time with his Virginia brigade. The appearance of Jackson’s solid line of fresh troops inspired Confederate Brigadier General Barnard E. Bee to exclaim to his retreating troops: “There stands Jackson like a stone wall. Rally behind the Virginians!” Thus was born the nickname “Stonewall” Jackson.

In the painting Jackson is seen directing the 5th Virginia into position near the Robinson House. For awhile Jackson would conceal his men on the reverse slop of Henry Hill, sheltering them from Union artillery fire. In a bid to rid the hill of Union artillery, his 33rd Virginia attacked and captured two Union guns. This resulted in a see saw battle for the guns and the hill that would eventually lead to a Southern victory with the determined advance of Jackson’s entire brigade joined by Hampton’s South Carolina Legion. Though the battle continued for the rest of the afternoon, the South had gained the initiative with Jackson’s charge leading to the stunning victory for the Confederates.

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