2nd Battle of Manassas / Second Manassas

Thomas' Legion
American Civil War HOMEPAGE
American Civil War
Causes of the Civil War : What Caused the Civil War
Organization of Union and Confederate Armies: Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery
Civil War Navy: Union Navy and Confederate Navy
American Civil War: The Soldier's Life
Civil War Turning Points
American Civil War: Casualties, Battles and Battlefields
Civil War Casualties, Fatalities & Statistics
Civil War Generals
American Civil War Desertion and Deserters: Union and Confederate
Civil War Prisoner of War: Union and Confederate Prison History
Civil War Reconstruction Era and Aftermath
American Civil War Genealogy and Research
Civil War
American Civil War Pictures - Photographs
African Americans and American Civil War History
American Civil War Store
American Civil War Polls
North Carolina Civil War History
North Carolina American Civil War Statistics, Battles, History
North Carolina Civil War History and Battles
North Carolina Civil War Regiments and Battles
North Carolina Coast: American Civil War
Western North Carolina and the American Civil War
Western North Carolina: Civil War Troops, Regiments, Units
North Carolina: American Civil War Photos
Cherokee Chief William Holland Thomas
Cherokee Indian Heritage, History, Culture, Customs, Ceremonies, and Religion
Cherokee Indians: American Civil War
History of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian Nation
Cherokee War Rituals, Culture, Festivals, Government, and Beliefs
Researching your Cherokee Heritage
Civil War Diary, Memoirs, Letters, and Newspapers

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


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


Sigel called off attacks.


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.


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


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.


Period of regrouping and rest with some skirmishing.


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


All quiet.


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

31 August 1862


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.

Site search Web search

Return to American Civil War Homepage

Best viewed with Internet Explorer or Google Chrome

Google Safe.jpg