Date of Award

Spring 2012

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Scott Gac

Second Advisor

Robb Haberman


The First Battle of Bull Run, commonly called a “turning point” in the Civil War, affected different groups within the Union in various ways. However, there appears to be a misunderstanding that the battle greatly impacted everyone, which it did not. This thesis focuses on Connecticut and how its soldiers and politicians at the time of this battle (1861) were not affected in similar manners. In fact, soldiers’ lives were barely changed at all by the battle. Politicians, on the other hand, both pro-war and anti-war, had to deal with their opposition. The Peace Democrats chose to capitalize on the Union loss and attempted to steal supporters from the pro-war politicians. As such the animosity between the two parties, severely escalated by the loss at Bull Run, caused the two groups to actually result to physical blows due to their frustration with each other. The politicians also used newspapers and the Legislature to profess their beliefs. The Union’s loss at Bull Run caused the two parties (Democratic and Republican) competition for the majority of Connecticut to turn into countless demonstrations and attacks upon each other. Thus, the politicians were more greatly affected than the soldiers who’s lives and reasons for enlistment remained largely the same after the Battle of Bull Run, a major turning point of the Civil War, particularly for Connecticut’s politicians.


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in History.