SECOND MANASSAS (BULL RUN)
U. S. CIVIL WAR
PAGE TWO OF FIVE
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at the photograph.
Second Manassas Battlefield Troop Movements.
In the text, the red numbers in parentheses
refer to the numbers
on this map.
Union Major General John Pope, reacting to the attack on his supply depot in the
back of his forces, abandoned his line on the Rappahannock River and headed
toward Manassas. General Robert E. Lee, Commander of the Confederate Army of
Northern Virginia, had his forces split, with Jackson's Corps near Manassas
Junction and Major General James Longstreet's Corps at the Rappahannock River.
Knowing this, Pope felt that his army could "bag" Jackson's Corps and then
defeat Longstreet's Corps.
But first he had to find Jackson, and the reports he received said that Jackson
had disappeared. After sending forces in different directions in order to locate
Jackson, Pope decided to concentrate his army at Centreville. At the same time,
Lee was moving northward with Longstreet's Corps in order to combine with Jackson
and reunite his army.
On the evening of August 28, 1862, the Union Division of General Rufus King was trudging down
the Warrenton Turnpike, near Groveton, in order to join the Army of Virginia at
Centreville. At that time some of the troops noticed a solitary figure on
horseback high on a hill to their left. They dismissed him as a civilian, not
worth wasting ammunition on, and continued marching. Then the figure was gone.
The figure was Major General Stonewall Jackson, watching King's forces cross in
front of his Corps. Jackson immediately ordered an attack on the Federal column.
The savage fighting that followed, at Brawner Farm,
lasted for several hours until dark. Although the battle was a standoff, Pope now
knew the location of Jackson's Corps.
On August 29, 1862 Pope's army found Jackson's Corps
dug in behind an unfinished railroad cut,
north of the Warrenton turnpike. Repeated Union attacks during the afternoon
failed against the Confederate position. At places where the Union did break
the Confederate line, they were quickly forced back.
During the morning of August 30, 1862, with Jackson's forces exhausted and
running out of ammunition, General Longstreet's Corps arrived on the battlefield.
Pope did not know of Longstreet's presence and that Longstreet had deployed his
forces on the left flank of Pope's line.
Because of the condition of Jackson's troops, Lee urged Longstreet to immediately
attack but Longstreet resisted saying that the time was just not right.
Just before noon, Pope, under the mistaken impression that the Confederates were
leaving, ordered his forces to pursue the Southerners. It was then that he
discovered that the Confederates had gone nowhere.
Realizing this, Pope ordered Maj. Gen. Fitz John Porter's Corps to again attack
Jackson's troops along the unfinished railroad.
Again, Jackson's men held the line in a bloody battle that involved some of
Jackson's troops throwing rocks at the Federals.
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