Battle of Ball's Bluff Online Exhibit

The Battle of Ball's Bluff

Animated sequence of three images (cropped from the illustration Battle of Ball's Bluff... ) showing Union soldiers on the battlefield.

The Battle of Ball's Bluff (Virginia), also known as the Battle of Harrison's Island or the Battle of Leesburg, took place on October 21, 1861. It was the second largest battle in the Eastern Theatre in 1861, though it was a minor engagement compared with battles fought in later years of the War. It was a Confederate victory; 500+ Union soldiers were captured. Col. Edward D. Baker, a sitting U.S. Senator, was killed.

This Union rout had severe political ramifications in Washington and led to the establishment of the Congressional Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War. At the time, however, it did not receive as extensive coverage in periodicals such as Harper's and New York Illustrated News as some of the previous battles; perhaps readers were already tired of images of battlefields.

New York State troops that were involved in the Battle of Ball's Bluff, according to New York in the War of the Rebellion (vol. 1), were a detachment of the 6th Independent Battery (Light Artillery) and the 42nd Infantry (Tammany Regiment).

Click on a column heading (2-4) to sort the table on that field. Click twice to sort in descending order.
Thumbnail Image Caption/Description Source of Illustration Publication Date
Thumbnail of the image Our Army at Edwards Ferry, a black-and-white illustration from Harper's Weekly magazine. Our Army at Edwards's Ferry, on the Potomac, opposite Leesburg Harper's Weekly,
November 9, 1861,
page 710
1861-11-09
Thumbnail of the image Camp in the Woods Near Leesburg, a black-and-white illustration from Harper's Weekly magazine. Camp in the Woods near Leesburg, Loudon County, Virginia – Virginia Infantry Harper's Weekly,
November 9, 1861,
page 714
1861-11-09
Thumbnail image of General Banks Division Crossing the Potomac, a black-and-white illustration from Harpers Weekly magazine. General Banks' Division Crossing the Potomac Previous to the Battle of Ball's Bluff New York Illustrated News, November 11, 1861,
page 21
1861-11-11
Thumbnail image of Troops Going Up to Join General Banks Command, a black-and-white illustration from Harpers Weekly magazine. Scene on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. Troops Going Up to Join Gen. Banks' Command. New York Illustrated News, November 11, 1861,
page 28
1861-11-11
Thumbnail image of Battle of Balls Bluff, a black-and-white illustration from Harpers Weekly magazine. Battle of Ball's Bluff, Between Parts of the 15th and 20th, Tammany Regiment, Part of Baker's Brigade, and 6,000 Rebels. New York Illustrated News, November 11, 1861,
page 25
1861-11-11
Thumbnail of Provisions for the Army, a black-and-white illustration from Harper's Weekly magazine. Provisions for the Army:
  1. (1) Testing and Weighing Salted Meats;
  2. (2) Baking Army Bread;
  3. (3) Examining Army Bread;
  4. (4) Sending Provisions to Washington
Harper's Weekly,
November 2, 1861,
page 695
1861-11-02

Thumbnail of Shipping Horses, a black-and-white illustration from Harper's Weekly magazine.

Thumbnail of Horses in Stalls between Decks, a black-and-white illustration from Harper's Weekly magazine.

Shipping Horses and Horses in Stalls between Decks Harper's Weekly,
November 2, 1861
pages 696-697
1861-11-02
Thumbnail of the image Beef for the Army, a black-and-white illustration from Harper's Weekly magazine. Beef for the Army Crossing the Long Bridge at Washington. Harper's Weekly,
November 16, 1861,
page 733
1861-11-16
Thumbnail of the image Shells and Their Manufacture, a black-and-white illustration from Harper's Weekly magazine. Shells and Their Manufacture Harper's Weekly,
November 30, 1861
page 758
1861-11-30
Thumbnail of the image Professor Lowe Making a Balloon Ascension on a Reconnoitering Mission, a black-and-white illustration from Harper's Weekly magazine. Professor [Thaddeus S.C.] Lowe Making a Balloon Ascension on a Reconnoitering Mission to Vienna, [Virginia] Harper's Weekly,
December 14, 1861,
page 790
1861-12-14
Thumbnail of the image The Execution of the Deserter William Johnson, a black-and-white illustration from Harper's Weekly magazine. The Execution of the Deserter William Johnson in General Franklin's Division, Army of the Potomac Harper's Weekly,
December 28, 1861,
page 828
1861-12-28

 

Last Updated: November 8, 2011