Gen. Pope's Virginia campaign.
Gen. John Pope
, having been summoned from the West
for the purpose, was selected by the President
, after consultation with Gen. Scott
, for the command of a force to be designated the Army of Virginia, and to consist of all the troops then covering Washington
or holding the lower end of the Shenandoah Valley.
This army was to be composed of three corps, under Maj.-Gens. Fremont
, and McDowell
respectively; but Gen. Fremont
was relieved, at his own request, from serving under one whom he regarded as his junior, and the command of his corps assigned to Gen. Sigel
The entire strength of this newly organized army was nearly 50,000 men, scattered from Fredericksburg
, of whom 40,000 might be considered disposable.
To Gen. Pope
was assigned the duty of covering Washington
and protecting Maryland
, with its great railroad, while threatening Richmond
from the north.
He had at first intended and expected to advance to the neighborhood of Richmond
, and there unite in the operations of McClellan
against that city.
But he was appointed on the very day1
's designs against McClellan
's right wing were developed at Mechanicsville
; and, before he could concentrate his army, the retreat through White Oak Swamp
to Harrison's Landing
, by exposing his meditated advance, unaided, to a succession of blows from the entire Rebel Army of Virginia, rendered
such a movement simple madness.
In order, however, to effect at least a diversion in favor of McClellan
's worsted army, and to enable it to abandon the Peninsula
without further loss, he drew Sigel
, via Front Royal
, to Sperryville
, on one of the sources of the Rappahannock
, near the Blue Ridge
; while Banks
, following nearly the same route from the Valley
, came in a few miles farther east; and Ricketts
's division of Gen. McDowell
's corps advanced south-westwardly from Manassas Junction
to a point a little eastward of Banks
wrote to Gen. McClellan
, then on the Peninsula
, a letter proposing hearty cooperation and soliciting suggestions, which elicited but a vague and by no means cordial response.2
He had doubtless suggested to the President
the appointment of a common military superior; whereupon Maj.-Gen. Halleck
was relieved of his command in the West
, assuming command July 23d.
Before quitting Washington4
for the field, Pope
had ordered Gen. King
, at Fredericksburg
, to push forward detachments of his cavalry to the Virginia Central Railroad and break it up at several points, so as to impede the enemy's communication between Richmond
and the Valley
; which was effected.
He had likewise directed Gen. Banks
to advance an infantry brigade, with all his cavalry, to Culpepper Court House, thence pushing forward cavalry so as to threaten Gordonsville
The advance to Culpepper
having been unresisted, Banks
was next ordered5
to send Hatch
, with all his cavalry, to capture Gordonsville
, destroy the railroad for 10 or 15 miles east of it, and thence push a detachment as far as Charlottesville
, burning bridges and breaking up railroads as far as possible; but Hatch
, taking along infantry, artillery, and heavy trains, was so impeded by bad roads that he had only reached Madison Court House on the 17th--a day after Ewell
, with a division of Lee
The area of Pope's Virginia and of McClellan's Maryland campaign. |
, had reached Gordonsville
, rendering its capture by cavalry impossible.
Pope at once ordered Hatch
, through Banks
, to move westwardly across the Blue Ridge
, with 1,500 to 2,000 picked men, and swoop down upon and destroy the railroad westward of that barrier.
commenced this movement; but, soon becoming discouraged, gave it up, and returned, via Sperryville
, to Madison
thereupon relieved him from command, appointing Gen. Buford
, chief of artillery
's corps, in his stead.
At length, Pope
, having joined his army, ordered6 Banks
to move forward to Hazel Run
, while Gen. McDowell
, with Ricketts
's division, advanced from Waterloo Bridge to Culpepper
, which Crawford
's brigade of Banks
's corps had already occupied for several days.
, with his cavalry, held Madison C. H., picketing the upper fords of the Rapidan
, and as low down as Barnett's Ford; while Bayard
was posted on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, near the Rapidan river
, picketing the fords from Barnett
's as low down as Raccoon Ford
The enemy crossing a considerable force in the vicinity of the junction of Buford's and Bayard's pickets, both Generals
reported their advance; but it was some days before it was determined whether they were intending to advance in force on Madison C. H., or toward Culpepper C. H. On the 8th, the Rebels
's pickets, and his force fell back toward Culpepper C. H., followed by the enemy.
, under instructions to preserve his communications with Gen. King
a concentration of his infantry and artillery upon Culpepper
, his head quarters, and pushed forward Crawford
's brigade toward Cedar (or, rather Slaughter
's) Mountain: an eminence commanding a wide prospect to the south and east, and which should have been occupied and fortified by our forces some days before.
, by order.
advanced promptly from Hazel Run
; built Sigel
, still at Sperryville
, instead of moving at once, sent to ascertain by which route he should come; thus losing several hours, and arriving too late to be of use. Gen. Banks
, by order, moved forward next morning8
toward Cedar Mountain
, supporting, with the rest of his corps, the advance of Gen. Crawford
, under verbal orders from Pope
, which were reduced to writing by his Adjutant, in these words:
Culpepper, Aug. 9th--9:45 A. M.
From Col. Lewis Marshall
: Gen. Banks
will move to the front immediately, assume command of all the forces in the front, deploy his skirmishers if the enemy approaches.
and attack him immediately as soon as he approaches, and be reenforced from here.
Calling on Pope
as he left Culpepper
asked if there were further orders, and was referred to Gen. Roberts
's chief of staff, who was to accompany him and indicate the line he was to occupy; which he took: Roberts
saying to him repeatedly before he left, “There must be no backing out this
day ;” words needing no interpretation, and hardly such as should be addressed by a Brigadier to a Major-General
commanding a corps.
, with his own division, following Ewell
's, had reached Gordonsville
July 19th, and, sending thence for reenforcements, had received A. P. Hill
's division, increasing his force to some 25,000 men; with which he advanced,9
driving back our cavalry and reaching Slaughter
's or Cedar Mountain
From the splendid outlook afforded by this mountain, he saw his opportunity, and resolved to profit by it. Pushing forward Ewell
's division on the Culpepper
road, and thence to the right along the western slope of the mountain, but keeping it thoroughly covered by woods which concealed its numbers, he advanced four guns to the front and opened fire upon Crawford
's batteries, his own division, under Winder
, being thrown out to the left as it arrived, still under cover of the woods.
's batteries were successfully posted at the foot of the mountain, some 200 feet above the valley, whence their fire was far more effective than ours.
's division was arriving, and being sent in to the support of whatever portion of the Rebel
line was weakest, until not less than 20,000 veterans, with every advantage of position and shelter, formed the Rebel
line of battle; against which Banks
's 6,000 or 8,000
A Position of Gen. Banks's corps both before and after his advance upon the enemy on the afternoon of Aug. 9.
B Furthest advance of Gen. Banks's corps, and place of severest fighting.
b Position of Rebel troops corresponding with position, B.
a Farthest advance of Rebels in the afternoon, from which point they were driven evening of Aug. 9. |
advanced, at 5 P. M., across open fields and up gentle acclivities, thoroughly swept by the Rebel
cannon and musketry.
Had victory been possible, they would have won it. Early
's brigade of Ewell
's division held the road, and was so desperately charged in front and on its right flank, that it held its ground only by the opportune arrival of Thomas
's brigade of Hill
's division; while the left of Jackson
's division, under Taliaferro
, was so assailed in flank and rear that one brigade was routed and the whole flank gave way, as did also Early
's. But the odds were too heavy; and, though our men proved themselves heroes, they could not defeat three times their number, holding the foot of a mountain and covered by woods.
The best blood of the Union
was poured out like water, but in vain.
, who, with five Ohio
regiments and the 28th Pennsylvania, made the most desperate charge of the day, was himself wounded, with most of his officers.
's brigade came out of the fight a mere skeleton.
The 109th Pennsylvania, 102d New York, and several other regiments, left half their number dead or wounded on that fatal field.
were severely wounded; as were Cols. Donnelly
, 46th Pa., Creighton
, 7th Ohio, and Majors Savage
, 2d Mass., Armstrong
, 5th Ohio, and Pelouze
was taken prisoner after dark, by accident, while passing from one part of his command to another.
Our loss in killed and wounded could hardly have been less than 2,000 men. We were not so much beaten as fairly crowded off the field; where Jackson
claims to have taken 400 prisoners, 1 gun, and 5,302 small arms, with a loss on his part of 223 killed, including Gen. C. S. Winder
, 2 Lt.-Colonels
, and a Major; with 1,060 wounded: among them Cols. Williams
, 3 Majors
, and 31 missing; total, 1,314.
had remained throughout the day at Culpepper
, neither desiring nor expecting a serious engagement, and assured from time to time that only skirmishing was going on at the front; until the continuous roar of cannon assured him, soon after 5 o'clock, that the matter was grave.
Ordering forward Ricketts
's division, he arrived with it on the field just before dark, and directed Banks
to draw in his right wing upon his center, so as to give room for Ricketts
to come into the fight; but the Rebels
, though victorious, advanced with great caution, and, finding themselves confronted by fresh batteries, recoiled, after a sharp artillery duel, and took shelter in the woods.
's guns continued vocal until midnight; but of course to little purpose.
's corps began to arrive, and was sent to the front abreast of Ricketts
's corps being withdrawn two miles to the rear to rest and reorganize.
But there was no more fighting.
clung to his mountain and his woods till the night of the 11th; when, aware that King
's division had just come up from Fredericksburg
, and that Pope
was about to strike at his communications, and thus compel him to fight on equal terms, he, leaving a part of his dead unburied, retreated rapidly across the Rapidan
Our cavalry pursued him to that
stream, picking up a number of stragglers.
, with 8,000 of Burnside
's corps, having joined11
him, Gen. Pope
advanced his infantry to Robertson
's river and Raccoon Ford
, with his center at and around Cedar Mountain
, and began again to operate with his cavalry on the enemy's communications, until satisfied that the whole Rebel Army of Virginia was rapidly assembling to overwhelm him; one of his cavalry expeditions having captured J. E. B. Stuart
's Adjutant, bearing a letter from Gen. Lee
, which clearly indicated that purpose.
Holding his advanced position to the last, so as to afford time for the arrival of McClellan
's army, he commenced13
a retreat across the Rappahannock
, which was effected in two days without loss; and, though the Rebels
, of course, followed sharply with their cavalry, reaching the river on the morning of the 20th, they found the fords so guarded and fortified that they could not be forced without heavy loss; so, after three days of skirmishing and artillery-firing at Kelly's Ford
and Rappahannock Station, they commenced a movement up the stream, with intent to turn our right.
, still under orders to maintain his communications with Fredericksburg
, was unable to extend his right farther without too much weakening his center, and telegraphed again and again to Washington
that he must be reenforced or retreat.
He was assured, on the 21st, that, if he could hold on two days longer, he should be so amply strengthened as to enable him to assume the offensive; yet, on the 25th, barely 7,000 men had reached him. He had resolved to recross the Rappahannock
on the night of the 22d, and fall upon the flank and rear of the long Rebel column constantly passing up the river; but, during that night, a heavy rain set in, which, before morning, had drowned all the fords and carried away the bridges in his front, rendering his meditated blow impossible.
During that night, Gen. J. E. B. Stuart
, with 1,500 Rebel cavalry and 2 guns, having crossed the Rappahannock
at Waterloo Bridge and Hart's Mill
during the preceding day, pushed on unobserved to Warrenton
, surprised Gen. Pope
's head quarterstrain near Catlett's Station, during the intense rain and darkness; capturing Pope's field Quartermaster and his dispatch-book, with a quantity of uniforms and personal baggage, burning the wagons, and trying to burn the railroad bridge over Cedar Run
; but the tremendous rain then falling defeated this design.
claims to have reached the Rappahannock
at Warrenton Springs, on his return next day, with 300 prisoners and many horses, here crossing unharmed, after a night's bivouac and a little skirmishing.
's actual head quarters during this raid were near Rappahannock Station; but our army trains were parked around Catlett
's, and guarded by 1,500 infantry and five companies of cavalry; so that Stuart
's cheap success inflicted on us more disgrace than injury — a disgrace which the intense darkness and pouring rain explain, but do not excuse.
Still, the enemy confronting us in ample force at Rappahannock Station,
, and Waterloo Bridge, kept moving heavy columns up their side of the river, with evident intent to flank and fall upon our right; and Pope
, facing along the turnpike from Warrenton
, resolved there to give battle.
's long-expected corps from McClellan
's army had reached Warrenton Junction,14
had reported from the neighborhood of Bealton Station; while Sturgis
, and Franklin
, were telegraphed from Washington
to be just at hand.
, therefore, believed, and had a right to believe, that he was to be supported, in the struggle now imminent, by 40,000 to 50,000 veterans from the Army of the Potomac, and had made dispositions and given orders accordingly.
He requested Gen. Halleck
to push Franklin
with all speed to Gainesville
; and sent orders to Manassas Junction
that the first division which reached that point from Alexandria
should halt and take post in the works at that place, pushing forward its cavalry toward Thoroughfare Gap to watch the enemy's movements in that quarter; while Gen. Sturgis
, commanding at Alexandria
, had already been directed15
by him to post strong guards along the railroad from Manassas Junction
's, personally superintending the execution of this order.
, who had slowly moved up the Rappahannock
, and encountered16
a Rebel force at Great Run
, two miles below the Sulphur Springs
, had easily driven it, but not till it had had time to destroy certain bridges; and the great flood then prevailing compelled him to halt and rebuild them before advancing.
Supported by Gens. Reno
, he crossed Great Run
and occupied Sulphur Springs
under a heavy fire of artillery from the Rebel
batteries over the Rappahannock
, rebuilding the Sulphur Springs bridge
, and pushing forward in the direction of Waterloo Bridge, which was occupied by Gen. Buford
's cavalry at noon of that day; Sigel
's advance, under Milroy
, arriving late in the afternoon: when our army may be said to have been concentrated, facing to the west, with Sigel
's corps and Buford
's cavalry near the Rappahannock
at Waterloo Bridge, with Banks
's behind it; Reno
's farther east, and very near Sulphur Springs
, with Ricketts
's and King
's divisions, at Warrenton
behind him at Warrenton Junction, where Sturgis
were hourly looked for; while Franklin
was expected to come in on his right, and Porter
to push forward and join Reno
But unsuccessful fighting and constant marching had by this time reduced Sigel
's corps to 9,000 effectives; Banks
's to 5,000; McDowell
's, including Reynolds
's division, to 15,500; and Reno
's to 7,000; to which add 4,000 thoroughly used — up cavalry, and Pope
's army proper could bring into action hardly 40,000 men. Add to these the corps of Heintzelman
, just arrived from McClellan
's army, and it might be said that his whole command numbered nearly 60,000; but Heintzelman
had reached Warrenton Junction by railroad, without artillery or wagons, with only four rounds of ammunition to the man, and without horses even for his field
officers; while Porter
, at Warrenton Junction, had a very small supply of provisions and barely 40 rounds of cartridges per man.
, who had by this time nearly his whole army on the Rappahannock
, had abandoned the idea of forcing a passage of that river, in favor of an effort, by a long flank movement, to turn our right.
To this end, Jackson
was directed to take the advance, cross above Waterloo
, and move around our army so as to strike the railroad in its rear; while Longstreet
, following, was to menace our front and fix Pope
's attention until Jackson
's hazardous movement should be accomplished.
moved rapidly across18
at Hinson's Mill, four miles above Waterloo
, and encamped that night at Salem
, behind the Bull Run Mountains
, between Thoroughfare and Manassas Gaps.
Starting early next morning, he passed through Thoroughfare Gap and moved south-easterly by Gainesville
, where he was joined by Stuart
with two cavalry brigades; striking before dark19
the Alexandria Railroad at Bristow Station, thus placing himself directly between Pope
's far superior force and his base at Alexandria
; having encountered no resistance.
In fact, Pope
seems to have been completely deceived,20
with his cavalry still watching for a Rebel advance from the Rappahannock
; as two trains of cars, moving northward from Warrenton
, arrived at Bristow
soon after Jackson
, to whom they fell an easy prey.
So far, Jackson
's success had been without flaw; but his position was critical, and there was obviously no time to be lost.
Weary and footsore as were his men, he at once dispatched Gen. Trimble
, with the 21st North Carolina and 21st Georgia infantry, under Stuart
— who took part of his cavalry — with orders to strike Manassas Junction
, seven miles farther north, carry it at all hazards, and capture the large amount of stores there collected.
moved slowly, because of the darkness of the night, as well as the weariness of his command; but, sending Col. Wickham
, with the 4th Virginia cavalry, to the rear of the Junction
, he charged and carried it with his infantry before midnight, capturing 8 guns, 300 prisoners, 175 horses, 200 new tents, 10 locomotives, 7 trains loaded with provisions and munitions, and immense quantities of quartermaster and commissary stores.
Our forces, consisting of the 11th New York battery and 4 or 5 companies of infantry, seem to have been taken by surprise; which is the more unaccountable since a train, which had barely escaped capture at Bristow
, had, some hours before, run by the Junction
at full speed, rushing into a down train loaded with soldiers, which was standing on the track at Bull Run bridge, four miles east of Manassas
, completely demolishing 5 freight cars, killing 3 soldiers,
and severely wounding others; the conductor and engineer of the fugitive train being themselves badly injured.
A surprise at the Junction
, whereby 4 of our guns were taken at the first dash of the Rebel
cavalry, and an immense amount of property lost, which a well-officered regiment might have saved, could never have occurred in any service but ours.
, with the 11th and 12th Ohio, of Gen. Cox
's division, recently from West Virginia
, was stationed at Union Mills
, across Bull Run
, whither a few of our routed handful at Manassas
escaped, giving the alarm.
He at once ordered an advance upon the Junction
, which brought on, at daylight,21
a conflict; wherein our men were worsted and driven back across Bull Run Bridge, which Scammon
attempted to hold; but by noon he was fairly beaten off, retreating up the railroad toward Alexandria
; while part of the Rebel
cavalry, justly elated with their triumph, pushed across and raided, burnt, and destroyed at will, at Fairfax
, and on to Burke's Station.
Meantime, Brig.-Gen. George W. Taylor
, with the 1st, 2d, 3d, and 4th New Jersey infantry, of Franklin
's division, had been sent forward by rail from Alexandria
, and, debarking near Centerville
, pushed eagerly forward to regain the lost fight; but by this time Jackson
, who was quite aware that moments were precious, had brought up from Bristow
his own and A. P. Hill
's divisions, comprising 10 brigades and 12 batteries: by which Taylor
was quickly routed, himself losing a leg in the encounter; the Rebels
remaining completely masters of the situation.
, considerably astonished, began by this time to have a realizing sense of his condition.
He had this morning22
, with Sigel
, to move rapidly on Gainesville
, so as to reach it that night; while Reno
, followed by Kearny
's division of Heintzelman
's corps, was directed to move on parallel roads to Greenwich
, and thence communicate at once with McDowell
, supporting him if required.
himself, with Hooker
's division of Heintzelman
's corps, moved directly up the railroad toward Manassas
, ordering Porter
to remain at Warrenton Junction until Banks
should arrive from Fayetteville
, when he should march forthwith on Gainesville
, where a battle was anticipated.
The trains were instructed to keep in the rear of Hooker
, protected by the corps behind him from attack.
Approaching Bristow Station that afternoon, Hooker
encountered the division of Ewell
, which had been left there by Jackson
on his advance to Manassas
; when a sharp fight occurred, in which Ewell
was overpowered and driven, with a loss of some 300 on each side; Ewell
losing a part of his baggage, but burning the bridge and thoroughly destroying the railroad.
He of course fell back on Jackson
; while Hooker
, from want of ammunition, was unable vigorously to pursue him.
, justly afraid of being assailed by Pope
's entire army, was forced to evacuate Manassas
, moving westward, in order to unite more readily with Longstreet
, then known to be approaching; and compelled to burn some thousands of barrels of
flour, beef, pork, and bacon, whereof the Rebel
army stood in greater need than did ours.
, and Reno
reached, during the night, the positions assigned them by Pope
had only started the day before from the south side of the Rappahannock
, opposite Warrenton Springs, and had not yet entered Thoroughfare Gap.
but block it effectually with a few regiments and batteries, while the rest of our army was hurled upon Jackson
, our triumph must be certain and decisive.
, about dark, sent back explicit orders to Porter
, at Warrenton Junction, to move forward at 1 A. M.,23
and report to head quarters at Bristow
, 10 miles distant, during the night or early next morning.
This order Porter
failed to obey; not moving till after daylight, and not reaching Bristow
till 10 1/2 A. M.
was likewise ordered, at 9 P. M.,24
to press forward, at the very earliest dawn, toward Manassas Junction
, resting his right on the Manassas Gap Railroad, while Reno
advanced simultaneously from Greenwich
, and Kearny
at 8 A. M.,25
on his left, and was immediately pushed forward, followed by Hooker
, on the track of Ewell
gave orders for the required movement at 2 A. M.; but Sigel
, who held his advance, had not fairly cleared Gainesville
at 7 1/2 A. M.
, who was not easily caught napping, had commenced his evacuation of Manassas
at 3 A. M., moving via Centerville
; and thus escaping the destruction which probably awaited him had he persisted in seeking a more immediate junction with Longstreet
, with Kearny
's division and Reno
's corps, about noon; Jackson
having left with his rear-guard an hour earlier.
immediately pushed forward all his forces in hand upon Centerville
, ordered Porter
to come up at once to Manassas
, and McDowell
to advance toward Centerville
, unordered, had detached Ricketts
's division and sent it toward Thoroughfare Gap; so that it was no longer available for the directed movement on Centerville
Late in the afternoon, Kearny
's rear-guard retreating by Sudley Springs
; while part of his force took the Warrenton turnpike
, impeding our advance on both roads by destroying the bridges over Bull Run
and Cub Run
At 6 P. M., Jackson
's advance, now moving toward Thoroughfare Gap, encountered King
's division of McDowell
's corps, and a sanguinary combat ensued, which was terminated by darkness, the advantage being on the side of the Rebels
The loss on both sides was heavy; and among the Rebel
wounded were Maj.-Gen. Ewell
and Brig.-Gen. Taliaferro
; the former severely.
, still at Centerville
, was apprised of this collision at 10 P. M., and then felt that he had Jackson
Sending orders to McDowell
to hold their ground at all hazards, and directing Kearny
to push forward at 1 A. M.26
, along the Warrenton turnpike
, and to hug Jackson
close, so as to prevent his retreating northward
; and to Porter
, whom he supposed to be now at Manassas Junction
, to move upon Centerville
at dawn, he confidently expected to have Jackson
inclosed and early in the morning assailed by 25,000 on either side, who were to crush him before Longstreet
could possibly arrive.
But he was reckoning without his host — or rather, without the other one. Gen. Longstreet
's advance had reached Thoroughfare Gap at 3 P. M.,27
and passed through it; but encountered on this side a superior force, strongly posted, by which it was easily repulsed.
As there was no time to be lost, Gen. D. R. Jones
, with two brigades, was sent in at once; while Hood
, with two others, following a mountain foot-path, attempted to turn our right; and Wilcox
, with two more, making a circuit through Hopewell Gap, three miles north, was to come in on our rear.
's single division was of course unable to stand against Longstreet
's heavy corps, and was driven off with loss, commencing its retreat just at dark.
's whole force was pushed rapidly through the pass, and, early next day,28
its van was in Gainesville
, pressing on to the rescue of Jackson
, its steps quickened by the roar of cannon, and meeting no resistance to the desired concentration; McDowell
having got out of the way during the night, retreating on Manassas Junction
, before noon, came rapidly into action on the right of Jackson
, already hotly engaged, the Rebel
army was once more reunited, and felt itself invincible.
, apprised, just before morning, of King
's abandonment of the Gainesville
road, had sent orders to Sigel
, at Groveton
, to advance and attack vigorously at daylight, supported by Reynolds
; while Heintzelman
, with Hooker
's and Kearny
's divisions, was to push forward from Centerville
following, with orders to attack promptly and vigorously.
, with his own corps and King
's division, was to move from Manassas
upon the Gainesville
road with all speed, with intent to turn Jackson
's flank at the intersection of the Warrenton turnpike
, who was nearest the enemy, with the division of Schurz
forming his right, that of Schenck
his left, and the brigade of Milroy
between them, advanced, by order, at 5 A. M., and was fully engaged before 7; gaining ground by hard fighting till half past 10, when Milroy
had advanced a mile, and Schenck
two miles, though obstinately resisted by the enemy.
But the Rebel strength in their front was constantly increasing, and now assumed the offensive, hurling heavy masses of infantry against our right; which held its ground firmly by the aid of its batteries, but not without heavy loss.
, being now ordered by Sigel
to strike the Rebel
assailants in flank and rear, was soon briskly engaged; the enemy attempting to flank him in turn.
At this moment, Gen. Kearny
's division of Heintzelman
's corps arrived on the field, by the Sudley Springs
road, and went in on Sigel
's right; while Reno
, coming up by the Gainesville turnpike
, supported our center; and Reynolds
Plan of second battle of Bull Bun, including the more important positions occupied from August 27 to September 1.
Aa--(arrow-heads)--indicate the route pursued by Jackson's forces, viz.: to Manassas Junction, Aug. 27; via Centerville to Groveton and Sudley Springs on the 28th, and on the 1st of September to near Germantown.
The position of Hooker's and Ewell's forces in their engagement on the 27th, near Bristow, is shown; while the position of the commands of McDowell and Sigel, at Gainesville, and Reno and Kearny, at Greenwich, as held that night, are also shown, being indicated by the respective initials, viz.:
The positions of Gens. McDowell and Sigel were somewhat farther advanced toward Centerville, at the time of their collision with Jackson's advance on the 28th.
A, B, C, represent the lines formed by the commands of Heintzelman, Sigel, and Reynolds, afterward reenforced by McDowell and Reno, and confronted by Jackson (a, b, c), who was afterward reenforced by Longstreet, Aug. 29.
The same position substantially, but extending farther to the left, was held on the 30th, by Heintzelman, Reno, Porter, Sigel, and Reynolds (named in order from right to left), supported by McDowell.
No attempt is made to represent the changes of position which occurred during the two days of severe fighting.
The position of the several commands at Centerville on the 31st August, and near Germantown on the 1st September, are indicated by initials, where the full name does not occur, viz.:
with the Pennsylvania Reserves, came into position, at noon, on our extreme left.
About 2 P. M., Gen. Hooker
, with Heintzelman
's remaining division, came down the Sudley Springs
road on our extreme right; and his troops immediately went in to the aid of the wasted and hungry commands of Schurz
, who were thus enabled to refill their cartridge boxes and obtain some much needed food and rest.
The fighting thence till 4 P. M. was desultory — a succession of heavy skirmishes from point to point along the front; either General being intent on his approaching reinforcements, and trusting to time as his friend.
At 4 1/2, McDowell
being announced as at hand, Pope
sent a peremptory order to Porter
to go into action on the enemy's right, turning it if possible; and, an hour later, presuming this order obeyed, directed Heintzelman
to attack the enemy in front; which order was gallantly obeyed.29
And now, though Fitz-John Porter
was still missing, and King
's division did not reach the field till near sunset, our army was for once superior in numbers; Kearny
's and Hooker
's fresh regiments pressing forward and crowding back the enemy's left, which had been skillfully disposed for a good part of the day behind the embankment of an abandoned railroad, which served most effectively as a breast-work.
At 5 P. M., Kearny
, bringing up nearly his entire division, and changing his front to the left, advanced by order, charged the enemy's left and swept back his first line, rolling it up on his center and right.
's division was sent into the fight about sunset, and advanced considerably beyond our general line of battle; but, soon finding itself confronted by a heavier force of the enemy, was brought to a stand.
charged in turn, with a fresh division of Longstreet
's corps, which had marched through the Gap
that day and been sent by Lee
to the relief of Jackson
, now clearly outnumbered.
's famous Texas
brigade and that of Law rushed forward with great intrepidity, repulsing Kearny
's most advanced regiments, taking 1 gun, 4 flags, and 100 prisoners. Darkness arrested the conflict, either army resting on the field of battle; but Pope
, with some reason, claiming the advantage, in that he held some ground which had been wrested from the enemy during the day. The losses on either side were probably not far from 7,000 men.
was really beaten, though he did not yet know it. His aim had been to overwhelm Jackson
, with Longstreet
, could come to his assistance; and in this he had conspicuously failed.
had his entire army been in hand and in line of battle by 9 o'clock that morning, his success would have been certain and easy; but, dropping in by brigades and divisions throughout the day, and Porter
not even getting into action at all,30
he had barely held his
own; and now his opportunity had vanished.
's corps had been arriving throughout the day, and was now all present — much of it perfectly fresh, so far as fighting was concerned, and ready for most effective service on the morrow.
, so often disappointed and baffled, found his fighting force reduced by casualties and by stragling, on the morning of that eventful morrow, to about 40,000 men.31
These had had a surfeit of marching and fighting, with very little eating, for the two preceding days; while his artillery and cavalry horses had been ten days in harness, and two days without food.
To his appeal of the 28th to Gen. Halleck
for rations, for forage, and fresh horses, he had that morning at daylight32
received an answer from Gen. Franklin
, written by direction of Gen. McClellan
, and dated 8 P. M. of the 29th, informing him that rations would be loaded in the available wagons and cars at Alexandria so soon as he would send back a cavalry escort to bring out the trains
. If cavalry had been ever so necessary to the guarding of railroad trains, he had probably not then a regiment that could have gone to Alexandria
and back within 48 hours. He had received no reenforcements or supplies since the 26th, and had no assurance that any were on the way. To retreat was difficult; to stand still and famish unadvisable; so he ordered Porter
, supported by King
, to advance down the Warrenton turnpike
and attack; while Heintzelman
, supported by Ricketts
's division, were to assail and turn the enemy's left.
's attack was feeble; and not unreasonably so, since he encountered the enemy in greatly superior numbers, and was speedily thrown
back in confusion; the Confederates
pursuing eagerly and joining battle along the entire front, but struggling especially to overwhelm and turn our left, where Schenck
, and Reynolds
, soon reenforced by Ricketts
, maintained the unequal contest throughout the afternoon; while Porter
's weakened corps was rallied, reformed, and pushed up to their support; rendering good service, especially the brigade of regulars under Col. Buchanan
. Gen. Tower
led his brigade, of Ricketts
's division, into action, in support of Reynolds
, with eminent skill and gallantry; its conduct being such as to elicit enthusiastic cheers from our entire left wing.
's corps, also, being withdrawn from our right center, was thrown into action on our left, and displayed conspicuous gallantry.
But the fates were against us. The enemy was aware of his advantage, and resolved to press it to the utmost.
Our attack on his left, under Jackson
, for a time promised success; until our advancing troops were mowed down by the cross-fire of 4 batteries from Longstreet
's left, which decimated and drove them back in confusion.
, seeing them recoil, immediately ordered an advance; which Longstreet
supported by pushing forward his whole command against our center and left.
's two brigades again led the charge, followed by the divisions of Evans
, R. H. Anderson
, and Wilcox
, sustained by those of Kemper
and D. R. Jones
; the Rebel
artillery doing fearful execution on our disordered and recoiling infantry.
At dark, our left had been forced back considerably, but still stood firm and unbroken, and still covered the turn-pike which was our only safe line of retreat.
At 8 P. M., Pope
sent written instructions to his corps commanders to withdraw deliberately toward Centerville
, designating the route of each, and the position he was to take; while Reno
was ordered to cover the retreat; which was made slowly, quietly, and in good order: no pursuit across Bull Run
's corps, from McClellan
's army, reported 8,000 strong, was, unknown to Pope
, throughout this mournful day, a little east of Centerville
reached that point between 9 and 10 P. M., and at once made his dispositions for resisting a Rebel attack.
But none was attempted.
, as well as Franklin
, from McClellan
's army, joined him here, raising his total force to fully 60,000 men; which was probably more than the enemy could now bring against him.
evidently expected to be attacked
next morning in this strong position; but Lee
, not unmindful of the still recent and sore experience of Malvern Heights, was too good a General to repeat his own blunders.
Aware that a demoralized army under an inapt commander may be most safely and surely assailed on its flank and rear — by blows that threaten to cut off its line of supply and retreat — he started Jackson
northward, with his own and Ewell
's divisions, at an early hour next morning,35
with instructions to turn and assail our right.
Crossing Bull Run
at Sudley Ford, Jackson
took a country road thence to Little River turn-pike, on which, turning sharply to the right, he moved down toward Fairfax C. H.; and, toward evening of the next day,36
when nearing the little village of Germantown
, a mile or two from Fairfax C. H., he found his advance resisted.
, not even threatened with a front attack, had ere this suspected the Rebels
of a fresh attempt to flank his right, and had directed Gen. Sumner
to push forward two brigades toward the turnpike, while Gen. Hooker
was that afternoon dispatched to Fairfax C. H. to support the movement.
Skirmishing commenced at 5 P. M. Gen. Reno
, near Chantilly
, with the remains of two divisions, poorly supplied with ammunition, found himself confronted by Jackson
's far superior numbers, but composed wholly of infantry; the rapidity of his march having left his artillery behind on the road.
Gen. Isaac J. Stevens
, commanding Reno
's 2d or left division, at once ordered a charge, and was shot dead while leading it, by a bullet through his head.
His command thereupon fell back in disorder, uncovering the flank of Reno
's other division, which thereupon fell back also.
Gen. Phil. Kearny
, with his division of Heintzelman
's corps, now advanced and renewed the action, in the midst of a thunder-storm so furious that ammunition could with great difficulty be kept serviceable; while the roar of cannon was utterly unheard at Centerville
, barely three miles distant. Riding forward too recklessly, Kearny
, about sunset, was shot dead, when almost within the Rebel
lines, and the command of his division devolved on Gen. Birney
, who promptly ordered a bayonetcharge by his own brigade, consisting of the 1st, 38th, and 40th New York.
The order was executed by Col. Egan
with great gallantry, and the enemy's advance driven back considerably; Gen. Birney
holding the field of conflict through the night, burying our dead and removing our wounded.
Our total loss here cannot have exceeded 500 men; but among them were Gens. Kearny
, and Maj. Tilden
, 38th New York, who fell in the closing bayonet-charge.
's flanking movement and attack, though wisely conceived and vigorously made, had failed to achieve any material results.
His report claims no prisoners nor arms captured.37
's retreat from Centerville
had in effect commenced on the 1st, when he found himself flanked by Jackson
; and was continued throughout that and the following day, without further annoyance from the enemy, until his whole army was drawn back within the intrenchments which, along the south bank of the Potomac
, cover the approaches to Washington
; when he resigned his command, and was succeeded by Gen. McClellan
officially claims to have captured, during his campaign against Pope
, more than 7,000 prisoners, beside 2,000 of our wounded left in his hands, with 30 pieces of artillery, and 20,000 small arms; while our losses of railroad cars, munitions, tents, and camp equipage, must have been immense.
's Medical Director
makes the Rebel
losses in the two days fighting on Manassas Plains, 1,090 killed, 6,154 wounded: total, 7,244.
reports his losses from the 23d to the 30th of August, inclusive, at 4,725. A. P. Hill
reports the losses in his division, from the 24th to the 31st, at 1,548.
Probably the entire Rebel loss from Cedar Mountain
did not fall short of 15,000 men; while Pope
's, if we include that by stragglers who never rejoined their regiments, must have been fully double that number.
Among our killed, beside those already named, were Cols. Fletcher Webster
, son of the great Daniel
, 1st Mich., O'Connor
, 2d Wise., Koltes
, 73d Pa., commanding a brigade, Cantwell
, 82d Ohio, and Brown
, 20th Ind. Among our wounded on the 30th, were Maj.-Gen. Robert C. Schenck
and Col. Hardin
, of the Pa. Reserves.
Among the Rebels
wounded in these fights, were Brig.-Gens. Field
, and Cols. Forno
, commanding brigades.
How far Pope
's disasters are justly attributable to his own incapacity, and how far to the failure or withholding of support on which he had a right to calculate, it is time now to consider.
In his report, he says:
It seems proper for me, since so much misrepresentation has been put into circulation as to the support I received from the Army of the Potomac, to state precisely what forces of that army came under my command, and were at any time engaged in the active operations of the campaign.
Reynolds's division of Pennsylvania Reserves, about 2,500, joined me on the 23d of August, at Rappahannock Station.
The corps of Heintzelman and Porter, about 18,000 strong, joined me on the 26th and and 27th of August, at Warrenton Junction.
The Pennsylvania Reserves, under Reynolds, and Heintzelman's corps, consisting of the divisions of Hooker and Kearny, rendered most gallant and efficient service in all the operations which occurred after they had reported to me. Porter's corps, from unnecessary and unusual delays, and frequent and flagrant disregard of my orders, took no part whatever except in
the action of the 30th of August.
This small fraction of 20,500 men was all of the 91,000 veteran troops from Harrison's Landing which ever drew trigger under my command, or in any way took part in that campaign.
By the time the corps of Franklin and Sumner, 19,000 strong, joined me at Centerville, the original Army of Virginia, as well as the corps of Heintzelman, and the division of Reynolds, had been so much cut up in the severe actions in which they had been engaged, and were so much broken down and diminished in numbers by the constant and excessive duties they had performed, that they were in little condition for any effective service whatever, and required, and should have had, some days of rest to put them into anything like condition to perform their duties in the field.
, we have seen, was ordered on the 3d of August to withdraw his army from the Peninsula
He hesitated, and remonstrated; but the orders were reiterated more peremptorily; and he left Harrison
's Bar with his rear-guard on the 16th of August.
Having embarked and dispatched his corps successively at and near Fortress Monroe
, he left that post on the 23d, arriving at Acquia creek
on the 24th, removing to Alexandria
on the 27th; on which day Halleck
Porter reports a general battle imminent.
Franklin's corps should move out by forced marches, carrying three or four days provisions, and to be supplied, as far as possible, by railroad.
Perhaps you may prefer some other road than to Centerville.
To this, he replied, at 10:20 A. M.:
I have sent orders to Franklin to prepare to march with his corps at once, and to repair here in person to inform me as to his means of transportation.
At 1:15 P. Mr.
, he again telegraphed Gen. Halleck
Franklin's artillery has no horses except for four guns without caissons.
I can pick up no cavalry.
In view of these facts, will it not be well to push Sumner's corps here by water as rapidly as possible, to make immediate arrangements for placing the works in front of Washington in an efficient condition of defense?
I have no means of knowing the enemy's force between Pope and ourselves.
Can Franklin, without his artillery or cavalry, effect any useful purpose in front?
Should not Burnside at once take steps to evacuate Falmouth and Acquia, at the same time covering the retreat of any of Pope's troops who may fall back in that direction?
I do not see that we have force enough in hand to form a connexion with Pope, whose exact position we do not know.
Are we safe in the direction of the Valley?
Half an hour later, he telegraphed:
I think our policy now is to make these works perfectly safe, and mobilize a couple of corps as soon as possible; but not to advance them until they can have their artillery and cavalry.
An hour later, he telegraphed again :
I still think that we should first provide for the immediate defense of Washington on both sides of the Potomac.
I am not responsible for the past, and cannot be for the future, unless I receive authority to dispose of the available troops according to my judgment.
Please inform me at once what my position is. I do not wish to act in the dark.
At 6 P. M., he telegraphed again:
I have just received the copy of a dispatch from General Pope to you, dated 10 A. M., this morning, in which he says: “All forces now sent forward should be sent to my right at Gainesville.”
I now have at my disposal here about 10,000 men of Franklin's corps, about 2,800 of Gen. Tyler's brigade, and Col. Tyler's 1st Connecticut Artillery, which I recommend should be held in hand for the defense of Washington.
If you wish me to order any part of this force to the front, it is in readiness to march at a moment's notice to any point you may indicate.
In view of the existing state of things in our front, I have deemed it best to order Gen. Casey to hold his men for [from] Yorktown in readiness to move, but not to send them off till further orders.
At 4:40 P. M. next day, Aug. 28th, he telegraphed Gen. Halleck
Gen. Franklin is with me here.
I will know in a few minutes the condition of artillery and cavalry.
We are not yet in condition to move; may be by to-morrow morning.
Pope must cut through to-day, or adopt the plan I suggested.
I have ordered troops to garrison the works at Upton's Hill.
They must be held at any
As soon as I can see the way to spare them, I will send a good corps of troops there.
It is the key to Washington, which connot be seriously menaced so long as it is held.
At 4:45 P. M., he telegraphed again:
Your dispatch received.
Neither Franklin's nor Sumner's corps is now in condition to move and fight a battle.
It would be a sacrifice to send them out now. I have sent aids to ascertain the condition of the commands of Cox and Tyler; but I still think that a premature movement in small force will accomplish nothing but the destruction of the troops sent out. I repeat that I will lose no time in preparing the troops now here for the field; and that whatever orders you may give, after hearing what I have to say, will be carried out.
To these dispatches, Gen. Halleck
, at 8:40 P. M., responded as follows:
There must be no further delay in moving Franklin's corps toward Manassas.
They must go to-morrow morning, ready or not ready.
If we delay too long to get ready, there will be no necessity to go at all; for Pope will either be defeated or victorious without our aid. If there is a want of wagons, the men must carry provisions with them till the wagons can come to their relief.
At 10:30 of the following day38
--the day of Pope
's first indecisive battle at Gainesville
telegraphed to Gen. Halleck
Franklin's corps is in motion; started about 6 A. M. I can give him but two squadrons of cavalry.
I propose moving Gen. Cox to Upton's Hill, to hold that important point with its works, and to push cavalry scouts to Vienna, via Freedom Hill and Hunter's Lane.
Cox has two squadrons of cavalry.
Please answer at once whether this meets your approval.
I have directed Woodbury, with the Engineer brigade, to hold Fort Lyon, however.
Detailed last night two regiments to the vicinity of Forts Ethan Allen and Marcy. Meagher's brigade is still at Acquia.
If he moves in support of Franklin, it leaves us without any reliable troops in and near Washington.
Yet Franklin is too weak alone.
What shall be done?
No more cavalry arrived; have but three squadrons.
Franklin has but forty rounds of ammunition, and no wagons to move more.
I do not think Franklin is in condition to accomplish much, if he meets with serious resistance.
I should not have moved him but for your pressing order of last night.
What have you from Vienna and Dranesville?
At noon, he telegraphed again:
Your telegram received.
Do you wish the movement of Franklin's corps to continue?
He is without reserve ammunition and without transportation.
Would it meet your views to post the rest of Sumner's corps between Arlington and Fort Corcoran, where they can either support Cox, Franklin, or Chain Bridge, and even Tenallytown?
Franklin has only between 10,000 and 11,000 ready for duty.
How far do you wish this force to advance?
had already directed Franklin
to halt his command near Anandale
; and, at 1 P. M. this day, he telegraphed Gen. Halleck
I shall endeavor to hold a line in advance of Forts Allen and Marcy, at least with strong advanced guards.
I wish to hold the line through Prospect Hill, Mackall's, Minor's, and Hall's Hill.
This will give us timely warning.
Shall I do as seems best to me with all the troops in this vicinity, including Franklin, who, I really think, ought not, under present circumstances, to advance beyond Anandale?
, at 3 P. M., replied:
I want Franklin's corps to go far enough to find out something about the enemy.
Perhaps he may get such information at Anandale as to prevent his going farther.
Otherwise, he will push on toward Fairfax.
Try to get something from direction of Manassas, either by telegram or through Franklin's scouts.
Our people must move more actively, and find out where the enemy is. I am tired of guesses.
Fifteen minutes before, McClellan
had telegraphed the President
I am clear that one of two courses should be adopted: 1st.
To concentrate all our available forces to open communication with Pope; 2d.
To leave Pope to get out of his scrape, and at once use all our means to make the Capital perfectly safe.
No middle ground will now answer.
Tell me what you wish me to do, and I will do all in my power to accomplish it. I wish
to know what my orders and authority are. I ask for nothing, but will obey whatever orders you give.
I only ask a prompt decision, that I may at once give the necessary orders.
It will not do to delay longer.
To which the President
, at 4:10 P. M., responded as follows:
Yours of to-day just received.
I think your first alternative — to wit: “to concentrate all our available forces to open communication with Pope” --is the right one.
But I wish not to control.
That I now leave to Gen. Halleck, aided by your counsels.
had already not only arrested Franklin
's march at Anandale
, but sent Sumner
's corps northward toward Arlington
and Chain Bridge, instead of toward the enemy.
At 7:50 P. M., Halleck
telegraphed him thus:
You will immediately send construction train and guards to repair railroad to Manassas.
Let there be no delay in this.
I have just been told that Franklin's corps stopped at Anandale, and that he was this evening in Alexandria.
This is all contrary to my orders.
Investigate and report the fact of this disobedience.
That corps must push forward, as I directed, to protect the railroad and open our communications with Manassas.
, at 8 P. M., telegraphed to Halleck
It was not safe for Franklin to move beyond Anandale, under the circumstances, until we knew what was at Vienna.
Gen. Franklin remained here until about 1 P. M., endeavoring to arrange for supplies for his command.
I am responsible for both these circumstances, and do not see that either was in disobedience to your orders.
Please give distinct orders in reference to Franklin's movements of to-morrow.
At 10 P. M., Gen. McClellan
Not hearing from you, I have sent orders to Gen. Franklin to place himself in communication with Gen. Pope by advancing, as soon as possible, and, at the same time, cover the transit of Pope's supplies.
Orders have been given for railway and wagon trains to move to Pope with the least possible delay.
, at 9:40 A. M. on the fatal 30th, telegraphed McClellan
I am by no means satisfied with Gen. Franklin's march of yesterday, considering the circumstances of the case.
He was very wrong in stopping at Anandale.
Moreover, I learned last night that the quartermaster's department would have given him plenty of transportation if he had applied for it any time since his arrival at Alexandria.
He knew the importance of opening communication with Gen. Pope's army, and should have acted more promptly.
At 11 A. M., McClellan
Have ordered Sumner to leave one brigade in the vicinity of Chain Bridge, and to move the rest, via Columbia pike, on Anandale and Fairfax Court House, if this is the route you wish them to take.
He and Franklin are both instructed to join Pope as promptly as possible.
Shall Couch move also when he arrives?
To which Halleck
, at 12:20 P. M., responded as follows:
I think Couch should land at Alexandria and be immediately pushed out to Pope.
Send the troops where the fighting is. Let me know when Couch arrives.
's and Sumner
's corps were now actually pushed forward, and found Pope
without difficulty, defeated and driven back on Centerville
Had they been there two days earlier, and had Porter
now and then condescended to obey an order, that defeat might have been transformed into a victory.
It seems clear that neither McClellan
, nor any of his devoted lieutenants, was anxious that victory, under such auspices, should be achieved.
's appointment to the command, and his address to his army on opening the campaign39
had been understood by them as reflecting on the strategy of the Peninsular campaign
; and this was their mode of resenting the indignity.