The primary inland clash among big our bodies of troops passed off at the morning of june 3, 1861, whilst 3,000 union volunteers surprised 800 confederates at philippi in (west) virginia. lasting less than half of an hour, the affair mightslightly qualify as a skirmish later in the warfare, but the union victory there and subsequent ones within the location accelerated the popularity of predominant popular george b. mcclellan, commander of the department of the Ohio. The primary real struggle befell july 21, 1861, on the hills around bull run creek outdoor manassas, virginia, a railroad junction a few 30 miles south of the northern capital at washington city (washington, d.c.) and about 90 miles north of the accomplice capital at richmond on july. it is referred to as the primary war of bull run (northern name) or the first war of manassas (southern name). during the conflict, the north named battles for the nearest body of water, and the south used the name of the nearest town.The union navy made progress early within the warfare, but confederate reinforcements arrived past due within the day from the shenandoah valley and routed the federals. the unlucky union commander, irvin mcdowell, became made the scapegoat and become replaced with an officer who had a few victories to his credit: george brinton mcclellan.