Thursday, August 30, 2012

2nd Manassas: Confederate Victory

On 30 August 1862, the Second Battle of Manassas would come to its dramatic conclusion.

Union Commander, General John Pope, confident of ultimate victory would launch one last massive assault on the defensive lines of Confederate Stonewall Jackson.  The honor would fall to the Union V Corps of General Fitz-John Porter.  Pope launched this assault with no consideration for the entire Corps of Confederate General Longstreet that sat poised to crush the flank of the Union Army.

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Map of the attack of the Union V Corps of Porter.  [Map by Hal Jespersen,]

After an eerily quiet morning, Porter's 3PM assault broke the silence, and the final shred of momentum behind the Union army.  Confederate artillery shredded the attacking columns, and though some of Jackson's men resorted to throwing rocks -- ammunition having run out -- Stonewall's men held the line.

File:Second Bull Run Aug30 1600.png
Map of Longstreet's Confederate attack.  [Map by Hal Jespersen,]

With that, Robert E. Lee unleashed the Corps of CS General James Longstreet, and the left flank of the Union army dissolved before it.  Only the stubborn resistance of scattered Union elements on Chinn Ridge gave the Union Army time to set up a defensive position along the Sudley Rd, protecting their line of retreat back to Centrevill and, ultimately, Washington, DC.

Nightfall on 30 August 1862 brought the Second Battle of Manassas to a conclusion -- a great Confederate victory, but the Union Army of Virginia, with attached elements of the Army of the Potomac, had survived and held their ground.

In the end, Lee lost 1,305 killed and 7,048 wounded, while Pope endured 13,824 killed, wounded, or captured.  Virginia was saved!

You can visit the ground at Manassas National Battlefield Park -- and see the dramatic ground of the V Corps attack at Deep Cut, and the crucial ground of Chinn Ridge:

This site has a wealth of information on the battle:

Here is the NPS account of the battle:

Robert E. Lee, however, was not done yet.  As the defeated Union forces slinked back to Centreville, Lee devised a plan to get around the Union host and cut off its retreat to Washington, DC.

This attempt would be the occasion of the two forces clashing again at Chantilly on 1 September...

Live well!

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