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The first encounter of the American Civil War happened on this date in 1861 at the Fairfax Court House in Arlington Mills, Virginia.
Under cover of darkness, a squad of just nine Virginia soldiers fired at the 1st Michigan Volunteer Infantry troops and the 11th New York Volunteer Infantry, who were performing picket duty at Arlington Mill, Virginia.
During a brief and confused exchange of fire, one Union soldier was killed, another wounded, and one Virginian soldier was wounded. It demonstrated that Union forces were vulnerable to enemy attacks, even close to the capital.