Battle Of Second Manassas

Rapidan

■To Gordonsville

Battles _ Stuart's Raid ^^^^^ Jackson's March ■■^•Routes of :-

1 Taliaferro

3 Ewell from Manassas Junction to Groveton Ridge

Miles

¿^CHANTILLY

jfTo Richmond

To Alexandria and Washington

Culpeper C.H.f

The Brigade's loss was heavy at Second Bull Run. Casualties of 411 made it second only to First Bull Run. This is some measure of the gallant way they fought.

After the Confederate victory at Second Bull Run, Lee crossed the Potomac and entered Maryland. Parts of Maryland were sympathetic, and it was thought that the presence of a Southern army might induce Maryland to ally herself with the South. Lee hoped to recruit men for his armies, and obtain supplies of food and clothing. He also believed by moving north to lure the Federals away from Richmond.

The Maryland Campaign, however, was not very successful. Lee fought and won the battle of Antietam on 17 September 1862, where the Stonewall Brigade under Lieut.-Col. A. J. Grigsby defended his left around West Woods. In the encounter Grigsby died of wounds and ten others of the brigade were killed. But the battle was not won decisively enough for the Confederates to remain north of the Potomac, and they withdrew back to defend Richmond again along the line of the Rappahannock. The Federals attacked at Fredericksburg where the Stonewall Brigade under Lieut.-Col. E. F. Paxton helped to hold the right of the Confederate line. The Federals were repulsed decisively at Fredericksburg on 13 December 1862; but in the New Year, and under a new commander, Gen. 'Fighting Joe' Hooker, they attacked again in the same neighbourhood, and the Battle of Chancellorsville was fought early in May 1863.

This time the Federals did not make just a frontal attack as they had at Fredericksburg, but staged a wide double envelopment, one arm against Fredericksburg and a stronger one striking

Cedar Run Battle

The Stonewall Brigade stocking up during the raid on Manassas Junction

Manassas Junction Civil War
Battle of Second Bull Run or Second Manassas, 30 August 1862
Gen Early 2nd Manassas

The Stonewall Brigade fording the Potomac at the start of the Maryland campaign from the north 15 miles to the west. Passing through the Wilderness forest, the western attack threatened the rear of Lee's force at Fredericksburg. Lee, however, was not greatly perturbed. Leaving a small force to hold Fredericksburg, he turned with his main body to face Hooker's forces emerging from the Wilderness, and struck at them so boldly that they wavered and moved back into the fringes of the forest and dug in.

Among the pines near the cross-roads a mile from Chancellor House or Chancellorsville, Lee and Jackson sat together on a fallen log and considered what their next action was to be. Reports from patrols said the Federals were massed in front, and a turning movement on the right would be difficult owing to the thickness of the forest; but one cavalry report declared that the other Federal flank was 'in the air'. Lee turned to Jackson and said, 'How do we get at these people?' Jackson replied that Lee must make the decision. He quickly did so. Accepting the cavalry report, he ordered Jackson to take a force round Hooker's exposed flank and attack the Federals in the rear. He drew with his cane a rough map of the projected envelopment in the sandy patch at their feet, but he left the details as to the route and composition of the force to Jackson. Jackson rose quickly from the log and saluted. 'My troops will move early tomorrow,' he said.

Jackson's column started at 8.00 a.m. on the morning of 2 May 1863. Following the van was Jackson himself, and the Stonewall Brigade came in the middle. At the cross-roads he found Gen. Lee waiting to wish him God-speed, and Jackson pulled up his favourite mount Little Sorrel for a moment to say a few words to his commander. The first danger was just short of Catharine Furnace

Lee and Jackson conferring before Jackson's flank march on Chancellorsville where the road crossed an exposed ridge. Here the column came under fire from Federal batteries on elevated cleared ground south of the main road to Chancellor House. As the fire continued, Jackson gave orders that this part of the road should be crossed at the double-quick, and he diverted the wagons in the rear. Next, spotters in Federal observation balloons reported the dust clouds being thrown up by Jackson's column, and a rumour reached Federal headquarters to say that

Lee was in full retreat. On this an attempt was made to capture the Confederate artillery which it was believed would be the last to leave. However, the two rear brigades of Jackson's column turned back and foiled the Federal manoeuvre.

Meanwhile, Jackson and the main body were well on the way. Following a track parallel to Brock Road they were approaching Plank Road when one of Stuart's cavalry brigadiers came trotting down the road to meet them. 'General,'

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Responses

  • Michael Grigsby
    I do not believe that Col. Grigsby died of his wounds on the battle field. I would be interested to know the source of this information. From all accounts, it appears Col. Grigsby resigned after he was overlooked for promotion to General and command of Jackson's Army.
    7 years ago

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