The Battle of Second Manassas

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During the War Between the States there were two large-scale, decisive battles fought near the town of Manassas, Virginia. This will be a guided look at the second of those two occurring at the end of August in 1862. There were several great leaders from both sides of the war involved in the 2nd of Manassas, however I am going to focus on the attitudes, maneuvers, and decisions of the four primary generals; General Robert E. Lee, Major General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, Major General John Pope, and Major General George B. McClellan, as it was these men who, ultimately, shaped the actions and outcome of the battle. Following the Seven Days Battle, Maj. Gen. McClellan’s armies were camped on the banks of the James River, 20 miles from Richmond1 (Debelius 1998) and Gen Lee had just taken control of the Army of Northern Virginia on June 12 (Hennessy 2005). Maj. Gen. “Stonewall” Jackson was a subordinate commander in the Army of Northern Virginia and Maj. Gen. Pope was inbound to “assist” Maj. Gen. McClellan in securing the area of Northern Virginia for the Union high command. This study will focus on the mind-sets, maneuvers, and decisions these men made throughout the course of the battle that led to the defeat of the Union forces under Maj. Gen. Pope’s leadership.


The town of Manassas, Virginia was no stranger to local conflict. In the summer of 1861 the Confederate Army, commanded by Brigadier General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard, was in solid control of northern Virginia. This put Confederate forces within 50 miles of the capitol of Washington D.C. President Abraham Lincoln ordered Brigadier General Irvin McDowell to take his army south and displace the Confederate forces to a more southerly local...

... middle of paper ... into retrograde a force larger and better equipped than his.

Works Cited

Debelius, Maggie. Illustrated Atlas of the Civil War. Edited by Henry Woodhead. Alexandria, Virginia: Time-Life Books, 1998.

Freeman, Douglas Southall. R. E. Lee: A Biography. New York, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1934.

Hennessey, John J. Return to Bull Run: The Campaign and Battle of Second Manassas. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1999.

Hennessy, John. The Miscreant Suppressed: Lee vs. Pope at Second Manassas. 12 09, 2005. (accessed 03 24, 2012).

Whitehorne, Joseph W. A. Self Guided Tour THE BATTLE OF SECOND MANASSAS. September 1, 1989. (accessed March 24, 2012).

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