On July 21, 1861 the first major land battle of the Civil War took place near Manassas, Virginia. In an attempt to capture the Confederate capital at Richmond, Maj. Gen. Irvin McDowell's Union army clashed with Confederates under Gens. P.G.T. Beauregard and Joseph Johnston along a stream called Bull Run. After some initial success early in the day, Union troops ran up against stiff resistance on Henry House Hill. Confederate reinforcements eventually drove McDowell back to Washington.