Photo credit: Smithsonian Magazine
At the beginning of the US Civil War, the first major battle took place near Centerville, Virginia. The expected outcome was an easy victory for the Union Army and a rapid defeat—and quick end to the war—for the Confederates.
The certainty of this was so believed that a good number of civilians turned out with sandwiches and opera glasses to watch the Civil War begin and end before their eyes. Some of their number even included Senators and Congressmen.
Instead of an easy victory for the Union, the Confederate Army ultimately broke the Union lines and forced many soldiers to flee—right into the picnic. Civilian picnickers and soldiers alike ran from the battle together. Senator Henry Wilson even passed out sandwiches to the fleeing Union soldiers.
This was not a good day to have a picnic close to a battlefield, I would think. Not a good idea at any time, so it would seem.
Coffee inside once again this morning!