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ing Jackson's crossing, he again telegraphed: "I must
. . . either fall back and meet Heintzelman behind Cedar
run, or cross the Rappahannock with my whole force
and assail the enemy's flank and rear. I must do one or
the other at daylight; which shall it be?" Halleck
approved the suggested bold attack on Lee's rear, and
directed the troops approaching from Fredericksburg to
march to Stevensburg and Brandy station, on the south
side of the river, proposing to unite these with Pope the
next day to attack Lee's rear. Gen. George H. Gordon,
who has written so well concerning the army of Virginia,
in which he served, and who fought so bravely at Win-
chester and Cedar run, says of Pope: "He awoke on the
morning of the 23d with no very clear notions of what he
intended to do."

The heavy rain of the night of the 22d interrupted
Jackson's movement and compelled Lee to abandon, for
the time being, his intended flank movement; Jackson,
by the most persistent efforts, repaired the bridge at the
springs in order to extricate Early from the perilous
position which he was so boldly holding on the north
bank of the Rappahannock, and Pope, knowing that
river to be impassable, gave up, no doubt gladly, his
scheme of crossing to attack Lee's rear, and determined
to concentrate against the Confederates on the north side
of the river, as he had at first proposed. In the early
morning of the 23d he turned Sigel' toward Sulphur
Springs, by way of Fayetteville, followed by Banks and
Reno. McDowell, from his left, was ordered to burn




the railroad bridge, which up to this time, by the aid of
guards and artillery, he had kept intact, and move
toward Warrenton. These movements would bring him
into line of battle facing any movement of Lee from
Sulphur Springs toward Warrenton. Longstreet's bat-
teries gave parting salutes to these backward movements.
Reynolds' division of 6,000 men, from Aquia creek,
reported during the forenoon of the 23d, and followed
after McDowell.

The courage and ready wit of a Confederate soldier are
well illustrated by the story that Allan tells in his
"Army of Northern Virginia:" "Maj. A. L. Pitzer, of
Early's staff, in attempting to find the Thirteenth Geor-
gia regiment, was taken prisoner by a scouting party of
the Sixth Federal cavalry. Overmatched in force, the
major had recourse to his wits. He persuaded his cap-
tors that they were within the Confederate picket lines,
and would be fired on whichever way they attempted to
escape. He offered to lead them safely in if they would
submit to his guidance. The offer was accepted, and the
unarmed major led in and delivered the armed sqUad to
General Early.

Early put on a bold front while awaiting the recon-
struction of the bridge in his rear, aided by the swollen
condition of Great run in his front. He destroyed the
bridge over that stream, and held the road against Sigel's
advance of 25,000 men, which Pope had ordered to make
attack and beat the Confederates on the north side of the
river. Sigel conceived the idea that Lee's whole army
was in front of him, and therefore only skirmishing and
artillery firing took place during the afternoon and until
dark, Sigel, in the meantime, going into camp and advis-
ing Pope to withdraw his corps to a better position.
Robertson, with his cavalry and some guns returning
from Stuart's expedition in Pope's rear, joined Early
during the day. As soon as the bridge was made pass-
able, at about nightfall, Lawton's brigade was crossed
over to Early's support. Ewell himself went over, for a
consultation with Early during the night, when it was
decided, in view of the large force before him, that it was
not expedient to bring on a battle at that place ; so orders
were given at 3 o'clock next morning for Early to with-
draw, which he did soon after daylight, and removed his
men to Jackson's rear, where they broke their fast of two
nights and the intervening day.



About lo o'clock on the night of the 23d, Pope himself,
accompanied by the corps of McDowell and the division
of Reynolds, reached Warrenton. At that time more
than 50,000 men of the army of Virginia were concen-
trated along the turnpike road between Jackson at Sul-
phur Springs and Warrenton. On the morning of the
24th, Pope girded himself to destroy the army of Lee,
which he supposed was still north of the Rappahannock,
as Sigel had reported. Buford's cavalry was sent to
Waterloo, whence a good country road led to Warrenton,
to reconnoiter and to destroy the bridge over the Rappa-
hannock at that point, and get in Lee's supposed rear.
Sigel, Banks and Reno were to move toward the
same point, from opposite Sulphur Springs, while Mc-
Dowell was placed along the roads leading to Sulphur
Springs and to Waterloo to support the movement. As
Sigel approached the river, A. P. Hill, who now, in the
succession of exchanging moves, held its Confederate
side, opened his batteries and an engagement of artillery
was brought on. Sigel continued, cautiously, his march
up the river, annoyed by Hill's batteries, and it was well
into the afternoon before Buford learned that there were
no Confederates on the north side of the Rappahannock.
It was nearly 4 p. m. when Pope telegraphed Halleck
that "Sigel is pursuing the enemy in the direction of
Waterloo bridge. . . . No force of the enemy has as yet
been able to cross except that now enclosed by our forces
between Sulphur Springs and Waterloo bridge, which
will undoubtedly be captured unless they find some
means of escaping."

Sigel occupied most of the 24th in his cautious march
of six miles from Sulphur Springs to Waterloo, where he
arrived late in the afternoon and found the Confederates
on the south side of the river, but holding and defending
the bridge. The continuing thunder of Lee's guns, from
point to point of vantage between Sulphur Springs and
Waterloo, had thoroughly engaged Sigel's attention dur-
ing the entire day, as Lee intended they should, to divert
attention from the new flank movement which he had
already begun. Pope was equally ignorant, for, in the
afternoon, after learning that there were no Confederates
north of the Rappahannock, he dispatched to Halleck
that he would "early to-morrow . . . move back a con-
siderable part of my force to the neighborhood of Rappa-


hannock station, ' ' evidently disturbed by the long-stay-
ing qualities of Longstreet, which he had now been
testing for a number of days, while he himself had been
zigzagging around in a vain attempt to find the other
portions of Lee's army.

Still desiring to strike a telling blow at Pope before
McClellan's main body could reach him, Lee ordered
from Richmond the divisions of Walker, McLaws and
D. H. Hill, which had been held there for prudential
reasons, and sought a conference with Jackson, to which
the latter, a little later, called in his chief engineer,
Lieut. James Keith Boswell, for information concerning
the roads leading behind the Rappahannock mountains
to the line of the Manassas Gap railroad and to Pope's
rear, with which he was familiar; Lee and Jackson
having devised a plan of campaign by which Jackson,
free from all encumbrances, should move rapidly to
Pope's rear, cut his line of commianication at Bristoe,
destroy his stores back to Manassas Junction, then fall
back to the north of the Warrenton and Washington turn-
pike, and there await the arrival of Lee with Longstreet,
who would remain a day longer on the banks of the Rap-
pahannock for the purpose of detaining and perplexing

During the night of the 24th, Longstreet's batteries
took the place of Jackson opposite Warrenton Springs, as
did also his troops, leaving Jackson free to begin his
movement on the morning of the 25th, which he did, at
an early hour, leaving his baggage train behind and tak-
ing with him only ambulances and ordnance wagons.
His troops carried in their haversacks scant rations for
three days, Jackson confident of being able to abun-
dantly supply them from the enemy's stores. Starting
from the vicinity of Jeffersonton, to which he fell back
in giving place to Longstreet, Jackson marched for
some distance to the northwestward, along the great
highway leading to the Valley, by way of Chester gap,
and his bronzed veterans were elated with the conviction
that they were again bound for the scene of their vic-
tories of the preceding spring; but, when a short distance
beyond Amissville, their course was turned from the
northwest to the northeast, they looked questioningly
one to the other, as to whither they were going, led by
Lieutenant Boswell and portions of the noted Black


Horse cavalry through their Fauquier home-land. Jack-
son pressed steadily forward, through the long August
day, without halt, uiitil he had covered 25 miles and
reached the vicinity of Salem, on the Manassas Gap
railroad, just as the sun sank behind the Blue ridge to
his left.

At dawn of the 26th, Jackson's men were again puzzled
on finding themselves marching to the southeast, follow-
ing the line of the Manassas Gap railroad, through Thor-
oughfare gap, to Gainesville, where Stuart joined them
with his cavalry and led the way from that hamlet
directly to Bristoe Station, on the Orange & Alexandria
railroad, which they reached ahout dark, after a march
of 24 miles, without having met opposition on the way.
Jackson and his 22,000 enthusiastic men, and Stuart with
wide-awake and jolly cavalry, were now in Pope's rear
and on his line of communication, which they proceeded
to destroy, capturing trains moving toward Washington
and breaking up detached Federal encampments along
the railway. Not satisfied with this, and desiring to not
only reap the spoils stored at Manassas but to guard
against movements from Washington, Jackson sent Trim-
ble's brigade of infantry and Stuart with a portion of his
cavalry, through the darkness, four miles further to
Manassas Junction, which they reached and captured after
a brief resistance, about midnight.

On this same 26th of August, Lee and Longstreet,
leaving 6,000 men at Waterloo to guard the trains, fol-
lowed after Jackson and encamped at Orleans. Apprised
of these various movements by his scouts and spies, but
not comprehending them or their objects or destination,
Pope issued orders which scattered, rather than concen-
trated, his large army. He first ordered a concentration
on Warrenton; Porter, with 10,000 men, reached Bealeton,
and Heintzelman, with his 10,000 men, reached Warrenton
Junction, on their way to obey this order. The corps of
Sumner, Franklin and Cox, from McClellan's army,
were that day marching toward Pope, under urgent
orders, from Alexandria. Late in the night, when the
import of Jackson's movement dawned upon him, Pope
again changed his orders, directing his troops to march
on Gainesville, to intercept what he supposed would be
Jackson's line of retreat; and the different portions of
his command were headed in that direction, but all hin-


dered by a confusion of orders and a resulting mixing of
marching columns.

On the 27th, Lee with Longstreet continued his march
through Salem and the Plains station, on the Manassas
Gap railroad, but once interrupted, by the attack of a
small body of Federal cavalry, which came near captur-
ing General Lee. In the early morning of this same day
Jackson marched the divisions of Taliaferro (recently
Winder) and of A. P. Hill to Manassas Junction, where,
during the day, they rested and reveled in the vast stores
of quartermaster and commissary supplies the Federals
had gathered at that important junction. Ewell was
left behind, at Bristoe, to protect Jackson's rear and
oppose any advance from the line of the Rappahannock.
There, in the afternoon, he had a vigorous combat
with Porter, repulsing him, then withdrew across Broad
run, and late in the day followed on to Manassas Junction.

Longstreet was slow in getting under way on the
morning of the 28th, and so did not reach Thoroughfare
gap, but seven miles from his camp, until 3 in the
afternoon, to find that important way, the gate he must
pass through to reach Jackson's right at the appointed
rendezvous, held by Ricketts and a Federal division.
Lee promptly addressed himself to clear the way. Wil-
cox, with three brigades, was sent three miles to the
northward to cross the Bull Run mountains at Hopewell
gap and flank the right of Ricketts. Law's brigade was
ordered to climb the ends of the mountains cut by Broad
run, along which the road and the railway followed,
while D. R. Jones was to make a direct attack with his
brigade through the pass. Law's toughened veterans
soon scaled the mountains, fell upon Ricketts' flanks and
forced him to retire just as the day closed, when Long-
street led his command through Thoroughfare gap and
encamped east of the Bull Run mountains and eight
miles from the battlefield of Groveton heights, where
Jackson was hotly engaged with King's division of
Pope's army, and anxiously awaiting the coming of Lee
and Longstreet.

Satisfied, by the contention of Hooker with Ewell at
Bristoe, that Jackson's command was at Manassas Junc-
tion, Pope concluded that there was a good opportunity
for "bagging the whole crowd;" so he issued orders
that, turning from the ways to Gainesville, his columns


should, on the morning of the 28th, march rapidly on
Manassas Junction. Jackson spoiled this third plan of
concentration for his capture, by not waiting for Pope at
Manassas Junction; for on the night of the 27th he set
fire to the stores at Manassas that his men had not
appropriated and his wagons could not catiy away, and
hastened to the appointed place for meeting Lee, but by
ways that completely baffled his over-confident adver-
sary. Taliaferro's division, with the trains, was sent
northward, by the direct road to Sudley church, with
orders to occupy the forest covered position behind the
unfinished Gainesville & Alexandria railroad, with which
Jackson was thoroughly familiar from having encamped
in that region after the First Bull Run battle. A. P.
Hill was sent northeastward, by the highway across
Bull run, to Centreville on the great road leading to
Washington, and Ewell was left to follow after him in
the same direction.

Porter could not find his way, even with the aid of
lighted candles, through the darkness of this night, from
Warrenton Junction to Manassas; but Jackson's men,
somehow, found the way to their ordered destinations.
Hill, on the morning of the 28th, took the big road from
Centreville westward, marched across Bull run and took
position, on Taliaferro's left, near Sudley church.
Ew6ll, who had encamped the night before on the south
side of Bull run, at Blackburn's ford, crossed over, and
marching up that stream to the stone bridge, followed
after Hill and took position on his right, Taliaferro
moving still farther to the right in the direction of
Gainesville ; so that by the middle of the day Jackson was
concentrated in a strong position, the one the Federals
had first occupied at the first battle of Bull Run, looking
down upon the stream valley oi Young's branch along
which ran the Warrenton and Alexandria turnpike, his
guns in place and his troops ready for action. That same
noonday. Pope, having reached Manassas Junction, was
still seeking for Jackson. The movement of Hill and
Ewell toward Centreville, the threatening of Washing-
ton by Fitz Lee and his horsemen at Fairfax Court House
and Burke's station, meant. Pope knew not what, but he
proceeded to issue a third order for concentration.
Gainesville and Manassas Junction had failed him, and
now, thinking he was after a defeated and retreating foe.


he ordered his columns to Centreville. The leading
divisions of McDowell's corps had passed through Gaines-
ville, on the way to the junction, early in the day ; but
King's division did not reach that point until after Pope
had ordered a concentration at Centreville, so King, on
receiving these orders, decided to take the direct road
from Gainesville to Centreville rather than the circuitous
one by Manassas Junction, ignorant of the fact that Jack-
son lay concealed in the forest, flanking the left of this
direct road, but a short distance from Gainesville ; and so
it came to pass that when, late in the afternoon, he was
marching along in front of Jackson's concealed army,
the divisions of Taliaferro and Ewell sprang upon him,
and by a short, but fierce and bloody struggle, drove
him back, under cover of the night, to Gainesville and to
the road to Manassas Junction, on which Ricketts' col-
umn, retreating from Lee's bold assault at the Thor-
oughfare gap, overtook him during the night. On the
morning of the 29th these discomfited divisions of King
and Ricketts appeared in the vicinity of the junction,
and there was now no Federal force to oppose the com-
ing together of the two wings of Lee's army on the
famous battlefield of "Groveton Heights," as Jackson
named it, that of the first day of the Second Bull Run, or

Stuart, from Jackson's right, on the 29th, soon opened
communication with Lee and Longstreet, who had but
eight miles to march to the field of action and extend his
lines southward from Jackson's right and cover the roads
leading from Centreville and from Manassas Junction.
By 10 a. m. of the morning of the 29th, "Lee had sta-
tioned himself on a commanding knoll, near the head of
Young's branch, on the south side of the turnpike, from
which he could see his left, under Jackson, stretching
away to the northeast in his strong position on the Sud-
ley ridge, for nearly three miles, those of Longstreet,
reaching to the southward, through fields and forests, for
nearly the same distance, like two gigantic arms out-
stretched, with the fingers of Robertson's cavalry on the
right and those of Fitz Lee on the left, and ready to close
in deadly embrace upon any foe that should venture to
come within their far-extending reach.

In the early morning of the 29th, Pope, at Centreville,
was issuing orders for a fourth concentration of his


troops, which were now scattered anywhere and every-
where within the 1 2 miles of broken and much afforested
country between his headquarters and Bristoe, still
believing that he had but Jackson's command before
him only seeking an opportunity to escape, and
ignorant of the position of Longstreet. Pope ordered a
vigorous attack on Jackson's left by Sigel's corps, sup-
ported by Heintzelman, Reno and Reynolds. This
attack was bold and vigorous, and from 6:30 to 10:30
there was a fierce contention between A. P. Hill and the
Federals; but the latter were repulsed when, just as Lee
was leading Longstreet into position, 18,500 men under
Heintzelman and Reno were moving in to Sigel's aid.
Pope's men, wearied by the constant marchings and
countermarchings of previous days, were slow in moving
forward; but at noonday, when Pope himself appeared
and took post on Buck hill, whence his own lines and
those of Jackson were visible, he found his 35,000 men
in battle order facing Jackson. These he urged to
renew the attack from which Sigel had been repulsed.
He also ordered McDowell and Porter to advance their
30,000 men, from Manassas, upon Gainesville; his
numerous cavalry hovered about the flanks of the Con-
federates. Pope did not believe that Lee was yet on the
field, so he proposed to hurl his 75,000 against Jackson's
20, 000 and win a victory before Longstreet could arrive.
Earnestly watching the battlefield from his well-chosen
point of observation, Lee discovered that Longstreet was
not far from the left of Pope's line of attack, and as that
solid mass of Federal veterans marched with quick and
resolute step to assault Jackson, Lee urged Longstreet
to join in the issue. After overlooking the field, the
latter reported the prospect as "not inviting," and
greatly disappointed his commander-in-chief by obsti-
nately persisting in his opposition to make an attack.
Just then, Stuart, who was on the right and had been
reconnoitering toward Manassas Junction, reported the
approach of McDowell and Porter; but these soon
turned to the northward and marched, by the Sudley
road, to the left of Pope's contention with Jackson.
Through all the long day, during ten hours of hotly-con-
tested battle, constantly adding fresh troops and in six
vigorous assaults, did Pope force his men against Jack-
son's position; mainly against A. P. Hill on his left.


The Federal soldiers, well led, with the skill of veterans
and the courage of brave men, marched to the very front
of Jackson's lines, which, by determined efforts, they
several times broke and carried, but were every time
driven back, once partly with cobblestones, picked from
the fills of the unfinished railway, when the supply of
ammunition gave out.

Lee anxiously watched these fierce assaults and des-
perate repulses, and urged his stubborn lieutenant to join
in the combat and relieve the pressure upon his other
and indomitable lieutenant, who, with another sort of
stubbornness, held to his lines and drove back the suc-
cessive waves of Federal assaults. At 5 p. m. , when less
than two hours of the day remained, Pope massed the
divisions of Kearney and Stevens for a last assault upon
Jackson's left. Gregg had exhausted his ammunition
and sent for more, adding that his Carolinians would
hold on with the bayonet ; but these were forced back-
ward, when the Georgians and the North Carolinians of
Branch, dropped in behind them^ and all, like Indian
fighters, took advantage of every rock and tree as the
stubborn Federals forced them back. Jackson promptly
moved from his center the Virginians of Field and Early,
the Georgians of Lawton, and the Louisianians of Hays,
threw these into A. P. Hill's hot contest on his left, and
routed and dispersed the brave Federal attack, shatter-
ing the brigades of Pope's right.

Again Lee, with all the earnestness of his heroic
nature, urged Longstreet to participate and help Jackson
in meeting this furious attack. But he persisted in his
refusal to move, claiming that it was now too late in the
day for so doing. But Lee had one force obedient to his
commands, or rather his requests, for thus were the
orders of that high-toned gentleman expressed. He had
massed Hood's batteries on Longstreet's left, on com-
manding ground, and as Pope's left, under Reynolds,
moved forward to attack, a hot fire from these guns
drove him back, and just at set of sun, when Longstreet
yielded for what he called a reconnoissance in force, he
turned loose Hood's courageous Texans, who fell upon
the Federal center and drove King back with heavy
loss, capturing three of his battlefiags and one of his
guns ; and so the night closed on this long day of furious
and bloody battle, in which the contending armies had


each displayed the undaunted courage of their common,
fighting, ancestral stock ; but the skill of leadership had
again asserted itself against the mere power of numbers,
and history, in all its annals, nowhere records braver
deeds of heroic and daring defense and persistent cour-
age than were exhibited by Jackson's men through all
that long day of steady contention against fearful odds.
The invincible Stonewall had unflinchingly held the left,
confident that the equally invincible Lee was not only
watching the contest, but would, in the crisis of the day,
throw his sword into the scale and decide the unequal

The battle over, Jackson's men cared for their
wounded, gathered their dead for burial, and prepared
for another day of conflict, which they well knew was
impending ; gathered in groups, praying for further aid to
the God of Battles, and then, in trusting confidence, slept
on their arms awaiting the coming day.

The 30th of August, as the summer neared its end,
opened clear and bright, with the two armies ready for
the renewal of the mighty conflict. The position of
Lee's two wings was unchanged, except that he had
massed thirty-six guns, under Col. Stephen D. Lee, on the
commanding watershed swell in the center of his lines,
where their lines of fire led down the center of the depres-
sion followed by Young's branch and threaded by the turn-
pike leading through the midst of the Federal host to the

Online LibraryClement Anselm EvansConfederate military history; a library of Confederate States history → online text (page 32 of 153)