Virginia Pioneers


Second Battle of Manassas, Virginia: August 29-30, 1862


Manassas
The Henry House Graveyard, near the home of Henry Hill. When General George McClellan failed to reach the Confederate capitol in Richmond from the Virginia Peninsula, Lincoln created the Army of Virginia. It was commanded by Major General John Pope who was ordered to join the McClellan Army of the Potomac. The combined armies numbered more than 175,000 troops, twice the size of the Confederate Army. General Robert E. Lee, who had prevented McClellan from taking Richmond during a series of skirmishes, called the Seven Days. When Lee heard that McClellan had withdrawn from the Peninsula by water and was returning to a place near Washington, he took 30,000 troops belonging to the General Longstreet army, to join General Jackson. The objective was to defeat the army of General Pope before it could join with McClellan. The resulting battle of Cedar Mountain occurred on August 9th. In a series of skirmishes between the two armies, Confederates under Jeb Stuart, captured the personal baggage of General Pope and his papers. It was from these papers that General Lee learned that the first troops of the Army of the Potomac, known as the V Corps, commanded by Fitz-John Porter, were nearby. General Jackson marcbed fifty four miles to capture union supply wagons. When Pope reached Manassas on August 28th, he found the depot in ruins. On the morning of August 30th, Pope ordered another attack. He was not aware that the armies of General Longstreet and General Lee were close by. Heavy fighting occurred on Chinn Ridge; Pope established a defensive position. The Second Battle of Manassas enabled the South to regain almost all of Virginia.

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