Wednesday, August 28, 2013
August 28-30 1862 Second Manassas-Jackson's troops resort to throwing rocks at attacking Yankees after they have exhausted all their ammunition.
Union Gen. John Pope arrived with a reputation freshly won in the war’s western theater and Lee gambling that McClellan would cause no further trouble around Richmond sent Stonewall Jackson’s corps northward to suppress Pope.
Pope, was stung by the attack on his supply base on August 25th by Jackson and abandoned the line of the Rappahannock and headed towards Manassas to “bag” Jackson. Lee was moving northward with Longstreet’s corps to reunite his army. On the afternoon of August 28, to prevent the Federal commander’s efforts to concentrate at Centreville and bring Pope to battle, Jackson ordered his troops to attack a Union column as it marched past on the Warrenton Turnpike. This savage fight at Brawner’s Farm lasted until dark.
Convinced that Jackson was isolated, Pope ordered his columns to converge on Groveton. He was sure that he could destroy Jackson before Lee and Longstreet could intervene. On the 29th Pope’s army found Jackson’s men posted along an unfinished railroad grade, north of the turnpike. All afternoon, in a series of uncoordinated attacks, Pope hurled his men against the Confederate position. In several places the northerners momentarily breached Jackson’s line, but each time were forced back. During the afternoon, Longstreet’s troops arrived on the battlefield and, unknown to Pope, deployed on Jackson’s right, overlapping the exposed Union left. Lee urged Longstreet to attack, but “Old Pete” demurred. The time was just not right, he said.
The morning of August 30 passed quietly. Just before noon, erroneously concluding the Confederates were retreating, Pope ordered his army forward in “pursuit. The pursuit, however, was short-lived. Pope found that Lee had gone nowhere. Amazingly, Pope ordered yet another attack against Jackson’s line. Fitz-John Porter’s corps, along with part of McDowell’s, struck Starke’s division at the unfinished railroad’s “Deep Cut.” The Southerners held firm, and Porter’s column was hurled back in a bloody repulse.
Seeing the Union lines in disarray, Longstreet pushed his massive columns forward and staggered the Union left. Pope’s army was faced with annihilation. Only a stand by northern troops, first on Chinn Ridge and then once again on Henry Hill, bought time for Pope’s hard-pressed Union forces. Finally, under cover of darkness the defeated Union army withdrew across Bull Run towards the defenses of Washington.