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Enter the characters you see below Sorry, we just need to make sure you’re not a robot. Second Battle of Bull Run, fought Augt. Following a wide-ranging flanking march, Confederate Maj. Stonewall” Jackson captured the Union supply depot at Manassas Junction, threatening Pope’s line of communications with Washington, D. Pope became convinced that he had trapped Jackson and concentrated the bulk of his army against him. On August 29, Pope launched a series of assaults against Jackson’s position along an unfinished railroad grade.
The attacks were repulsed with heavy casualties on both sides. At noon, Longstreet arrived on the field from Thoroughfare Gap and took position on Jackson’s right flank. On August 30, Pope renewed his attacks, seemingly unaware that Longstreet was on the field. Success in this battle emboldened Lee to initiate the ensuing Maryland Campaign. Lee had larger plans in mind.
Hill to join Jackson with 12,000 men. On August 9, Nathaniel Banks’s corps attacked Jackson at Cedar Mountain, gaining an early advantage, but a Confederate counterattack led by A. Hill drove Banks back across Cedar Creek. Jackson’s advance was stopped, however, by the Union division of Brig. From August 22 to 25, the two armies fought a series of minor actions along the Rappahannock River.
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Heavy rains had swollen the river and Lee was unable to force a crossing. By this time, reinforcements from the Army of the Potomac were arriving from the Peninsula. Alexandria Railroad at Bristoe Station and before daybreak August 27 marched to capture and destroy the massive Union supply depot at Manassas Junction. This surprise movement forced Pope into an abrupt retreat from his defensive line along the Rappahannock. In the Battle of Thoroughfare Gap on August 28, Longstreet’s wing broke through light Union resistance and marched through the gap to join Jackson. This seemingly inconsequential action virtually ensured Pope’s defeat during the coming battles because it allowed the two wings of Lee’s army to unite on the Manassas battlefield. The right wing was commanded by Maj.
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The left wing was commanded by Maj. Stuart was attached to Jackson’s wing. An exact estimate of both armies’ strength at the battle is not possible as different reports and returns provide differing figures. The total strength of the Army of Northern Virginia, cavalry and artillery included, was slightly less than 55,000 men. Factoring in only infantry, the effective Confederate strength was probably about 50,000 men, possibly as low as 47,000. The Second Battle of Bull Run began on August 28 as a Federal column, under Jackson’s observation just outside Gainesville, near the farm of the John Brawner family, moved along the Warrenton Turnpike.
It consisted of units from Brig. Jackson, who had been relieved to hear earlier that Longstreet’s men were on their way to join him, displayed himself prominently to the Union troops, but his presence was disregarded. Returning to his position behind the tree line, he told his subordinates, “Bring out your men, gentlemen. Our men on the left loaded and fired with the energy of madmen, and the 6th worked with equal desperation. This stopped the rush of the enemy and they halted and fired upon us their deadly musketry.
In a few moments our entire line was engaged in a fierce and sanguinary struggle with the enemy. The 2nd Wisconsin, under the command of Col. Edgar O’Connor, advanced obliquely back through the woods the Federal column was passing through. When the 430 men emerged from the woods on John Brawner’s farm they were quietly formed and advanced up the hill.
Upon reaching the plateau, they deployed skirmishers who drove back Confederate skirmishers. After Trimble’s brigade entered the action, Gibbon needed to fill a gap in his line between the 6th Wisconsin and the rest of the Iron Brigade regiments. Doubleday sent in the 56th Pennsylvania and the 76th New York, who advanced through the woods and checked the new Confederate advance. But he had achieved his strategic intent, attracting the attention of John Pope. Pope issued orders to his subordinates to surround Jackson and attack him in the morning, but Jackson was not where Pope thought he was, nor were Pope’s own troops where he assumed. Jackson had initiated the battle at Brawner’s farm with the intent of holding Pope until Longstreet arrived with the remainder of the Army of Northern Virginia. Longstreet’s 25,000 men began their march from Thoroughfare Gap at 6 a.
Jackson sent Stuart to guide the initial elements of Longstreet’s column into positions that Jackson had preselected. At daybreak on the 29th, Pope had learned to his surprise and annoyance that Ricketts and King had both withdrawn south. In addition, John Gibbon arrived at Centreville and informed Pope that the retreat from Groveton was a mistake, ignoring the fact that he had recommended it in the first place. He’s never where he’s supposed to be! The end result was that Pope’s complicated attack plans for August 29 ended up as a simple frontal assault by Sigel’s corps, the only troops in position that morning. Sigel, though being a trained and experienced military officer, being seen as an inept political general.
Pope’s intention was to move against Jackson on both flanks. He ordered Fitz John Porter to move toward Gainesville and attack what he considered to be the Confederate right flank. He ordered Sigel to attack Jackson’s left at daybreak. Sigel, unsure of Jackson’s dispositions, chose to advance along a broad front, with Brig. The actions in Sigel’s attack against A. Hill’s division were typical of all the battles near Stony Ridge that day.
Although the unfinished railroad grade provided natural defensive positions in some places, in general the Confederates eschewed a static defense, absorbing the Union blows and following up with vigorous counterattacks. Assuming that Kearny’s division of the III Corps was poised to support him, Schurz ordered another assault against Hill around 10 a. Schimmelfennig’s brigade, plus the 1st New York from Kearny’s division, had come up to reinforce Krzyzanowski. The fighting in the woods west of Sudley Road resumed and it came down to a standstill until the 14th Georgia came down to reinforce the South Carolinans. Sigel for his part was satisfied with the progress of the battle so far, assuming he was merely supposed to perform a holding action until Pope arrived. Pope also arrived on the battlefield, where Sigel graciously ceded command to him. Hennessy described the order as a “masterpiece of contradiction and obfuscation that would become the focal point of decades of wrangling.
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Thomas Rosser deceived the Union generals by dragging tree branches behind a regiment of horses to simulate great clouds of dust from large columns of marching soldiers. As Longstreet’s men were placed into their final positions, General Lee ordered an offensive against the Union left. Longstreet later remembered that Lee “was inclined to engage as soon as practicable, but did not order. Longstreet, however, saw that the divisions of Reynolds and Schenck extended south of the Warrenton Turnpike, overlapping half of his line, and he argued against making the attack at that time. Pope, assuming that the attack on Jackson’s right would proceed as he thought he had ordered, authorized four separate attacks against Jackson’s front with the intent of diverging the Confederates’ attention until Porter delivered the fatal blow.
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Cuvier Grover’s brigade attacked at 3 p. Reynolds was ordered to conduct a spoiling attack south of the turnpike and encountered Longstreet’s men, causing him to call off his demonstration. Pope dismissed Reynolds’s concern as a case of mistaken identity, insisting that Reynolds had run into Porter’s V Corps, preparing to attack Jackson’s flank. Jesse Reno ordered a IX Corps brigade under Col. James Nagle to attack the center of Jackson’s line again. In any event, Porter was in no better position to attack then than he had been earlier in the day.
But in anticipation of the attack that would not come, Pope ordered Kearny to attack Jackson’s far left flank, intending to put strong pressure on both ends of the line. I Corps was moving divisions to Henry House Hill to support Reynolds. This report caused Lee to revive his plan for an offensive in that sector. Longstreet once again argued against it, this time due to inadequate time before dusk.
Hood’s withdrawal from Chinn Ridge only reinforced Pope’s belief that the enemy was retreating. Hood’s division had in fact just done that. That evening, Pope wired Halleck with a report of the day’s fighting, describing it as “severe” and estimating his losses at 7000-8000 men. He estimated Confederate losses at twice this many, an extremely incorrect estimation given that Jackson had been fighting a mostly defensive battle.