Friday, August 28, 2009

Second Time

Union troops near the farm of John Brawner on August 28th 1862, bring on the Second Battle of Bull Run or Second Manassas.

Confederate Major General Thomas J Stonewall Jackson observed the Union troop movements along the Warrenton Turnpike. The Union units were made up of the commands of Brigadier Generals Rufus King, John P Hatch, Abner Doubleday, Marsena R Patrick, and John Gibbon, and were marching east to join up with the rest of Union General John Pope’s army at Centreville.

Jackson was concerned that Pope would be able to link his army with McClellan’s behind the Bull Run. He decided his best course of action was to attack. Confederate artillery began shelling at about 6:30pm. Union General John Gibbon requested the veteran 2nd Wisconsin Infantry be brought up quietly to capture the Rebel guns. The 2nd, under the command of Colonel Edgar O’Connor advanced through the woods on John Brawner’s farm, moving uphill, where they deployed and drove some Confederate skirmishers back. The 2nd soon came up against the Stonewall Brigade, commanded by Colonel William S Baylor. For over two hours the two units exchanged fire at less than eighty yard distance from each other. The fighting ended about 9pm with Gibbon’s men still firing as they retreated back into the edge of the woods.

The Battle really had no winners. Losses where heavy on both sides. The Union had about 1,200 casualties and the Confederate saw about 1,250. It worked out that about 1 out of every 3 men engaged in the fight were shot. Jackson didn’t achieve an overall victory, but he did realize his strategic intent, of attracting General John Pope. The next day General Pope launched an attack on Jackson’s men along an unfinished railroad bed.

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