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The Battle of Ball's Bluff also known as the Battle of Harrison's Landing, and Battle of Leesburg, was fought on October 21, 1861 and resulted in a Confederate victory. About 3,600 forces were engaged.

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A Little Short of Boats: The Civil War Battles of Ball's Bluff and Edwards Ferry, October 21 - 22, 1861

Balls Bluff: A Small Battle and Its Long Shadow

“Perhaps a small demonstration on your part would have the effect to move them,” wrote Army of the Potomac commander Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan to Brig. Gen. Charles P. Stone on October 20, 1861. This simple telegram triggered a “demonstration” by General Stone that same afternoon that evolved into the bloody subject of James Morgan’s A Little Short of Boats: The Battles of Ball’s Bluff & Edwards Ferry, October 21–22, 1861.

On October 21, 1861, Confederate troops scored what was probably the most complete victory by either side in the Civil War at a place called Ball's Bluff, thirty-five miles west of Washington, DC, on the Virginia bank of the Potomac River. Union soldiers were driven in a panic off the high bluff into the river, where many of them drowned.