2nd Battle of Manassas / Second Manassas

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Second Battle of Manassas / aka 2nd Bull Run

2nd Battle of Manassas / Bull Run

Other Names: Second Bull Run, Manassas, Manassas Plains, Groveton, Gainesville, Brawner's Farm

Location: Prince William County

Campaign: Northern Virginia Campaign (June-September 1862)

Date(s): August 28-30, 1862

Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. John Pope [US]; Gen. Robert E. Lee and Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Jackson [CS]

Forces Engaged: Army of Virginia [US]; Army of Northern Virginia [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 22,180 total (US 13,830; CS 8,350)

Result(s): Confederate victory

Virginia Civil War Bull Run Map
Battle of Bull Run.gif
Battle of Bull Run Battlefield Map

Description: In order to draw Pope’s army into battle, Jackson ordered an attack on a Federal column that was passing across his front on the Warrenton Turnpike on August 28. The fighting at Brawner Farm lasted several hours and resulted in a stalemate. 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. When massed Confederate artillery devastated a Union assault by Fitz John Porter’s command, Longstreet’s wing of 28,000 men counterattacked in the largest, simultaneous mass assault of the war. The Union left flank was crushed and the army driven back to Bull Run. Only an effective Union rearguard action prevented a replay of the First Manassas disaster. Pope’s retreat to Centreville was precipitous, nonetheless. The next day, Lee ordered his army in pursuit. This was the decisive battle of the Northern Virginia Campaign. During the war, the North generally named a battle after the closest river, stream or creek and the South tended to name battles after towns or railroad junctions. Hence the Confederate name Manassas after Manassas Junction, and the Union name Bull Run for the stream Bull Run.

"My God, what a slaughter! No one appeared to know the object of the fight, and there we stood for one hour, the men falling all around..." Captain George Fairchild, 7th Wisconsin; referring to the Battle of Second Manassas

2nd Battle of Manassas Map
2nd Battle of Manassas Map.gif
Second Battle of Manassas Civil War Map

29 August 1862

0500

Sigel's Corps with Reynold's Division pressed westward and became engaged in a series of disjointed attacks against Jackson's position along the railroad

1000

Sigel called off attacks.

0900-1000

Longstreet's Corps began arriving south of Jackson's line and completed its deployment about 1100. Hood's Division was on both sides of the turnpike near Pageland Lane. Wilcox's Division was echeloned to his left rear, while Kemper's Division was echeloned to his right rear. D. R. Jones' Division extended from Kemper's farther south across the Manassas Gap Railroad and Robertson's Cavalry screened toward Manassas. Jones engaged elements of Morell's Division; Porter's Corps was engaged in desultory fighting all afternoon.

1100

Heintzelman's Corps (Kearny's and Hooker's Divisions) and Reno's Corps (Reno's and Stevens' Divisions) arrived near the Stone House.

1200

The Federal attack was renewed. Schurz's Division seized part of Jackson's railroad position and held it until relieved at 1400 by Heintzelman's Corps.

1400-1500

Period of regrouping and rest with some skirmishing.

1500

Grover's Brigade, Hooker's Division made a successful bayonet attack against the center of Jackson's line; lost 500 men in 20 minutes, was not supported and was forced back.

1700

Kearny attacked on Jackson's extreme left (north) and began to roll up that part of the line held by A. P. Hill's Division. Two brigades of Confederate reinforcements were rushed from an unthreatened portion of their line and repulsed Kearny's men.

1700

Wilcox's Division was shifted by Longstreet to support D. R. Jones toward Manassas; it soon returned when no threat developed. Fitz-John Porter's presence to the south had fixed Longstreet's right wing all afternoon. The Confederate did not want to commit himself until he had determined Porter's intentions.

1730

Hatch's (formerly King's) Division arrived at the Stone House and was ordered to attack westward along the Pike.

1830

Hatch's Division collided with Hood's Division, which was probing eastward along the Warrenton Pike. Fighting endured around Groveton until about 1915. Reynolds' Division south of the Pike had been prevented from supporting effectively by Longstreet's artillery.

c. 1830

Pope ordered Porter to bring his corps to Groveton. Pope felt Jackson was retreating and disregarded Porter's reports of Longstreet's presence south of the Pike. Longstreet was freed for the next day.

30 August 1862

1200

Federals began to move into attack positions; Reynolds shifted to Chinn's Ridge.

1500

Butterfield's and Hatch's Divisions with Sykes' in support commenced the main attack. They pushed to the railroad held by Jackson's men but were enfiladed by Longstreet's artillery on their left (south). Meanwhile Heintzelman's units pressed farther north.

1500

Reynolds was pulled from his position to support Porter. Only Warren's Brigade (Sykes' Division) and Anderson's Brigade (Reynolds' Division) remained south of the Pike.

1530

Longstreet attacked, pivoting on Jackson's position. Hood's Division advanced along an axis formed by the Pike while Longstreet's other units advanced in an arc north-northeast.

1600

Warren's position was overrun. Pope placed more troops on Chinn's Ridge: Ricketts', along with Schurz's and parts of Schenck's Division were rushed in; Sykes' Division went to Henry Hill farther east and was joined later by Reynolds with two of his brigades. Reno and Heintzelman delayed north of the Pike against Jackson, who conformed to Longstreet's advance.

1800

Chinn's Ridge was taken. Fighting shifted to Henry Hill. Sykes and Reynolds held until relieved by Stevens' Division of Reno's Corps, which halted the last Confederate attack.

2030

All quiet.

2300

Schurz's Division evacuated a bridgehead west of Stone Bridge.

31 August 1862

0100

Turnpike Bridge was blown up; Federals drew into Centreville positions. (The stone bridge had been destroyed 9 March 1862 by Confederates. The bridge destroyed 31 August was a temporary wooden span.)

(Related reading below.)
 
Sources: National Park Service; Manassas National Battlefield Park; Center of Military History, United States Army, Washington, D.C.; Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies.

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