Balls Bluff, Battle of, October 21, 1861, a minor Confederate victory in the Civil War. It inspired the South and depressed the North, an effect greatly out of proportion to its military importance. The battle was fought at Balls Bluff, Virginia, about 30 miles (48 km) northwest of Washington. D.C. A Union force of 2,000 under Colonel E. D. Baker opposed about 3,000 Confederates under General N. G. Evans. There were 900 Union casualties and less than 300 Confederate.