After absorbing the beating at Cedar Mountain, Pope regrouped and prepared for the arrival of Lee's Confederate forces. But instead of meeting Pope's Union troops head-on, Lee devised a daring strategy in which he divided his army in two. Half of the rebel force stayed in position under the immediate command of Lee's trusted lieutenant, Major General James Longstreet (1821-1904). The other half of the Confederate Army, led by Stonewall Jackson, swooped around Pope's western flank.
Pope was very distracted by the presence of Longstreet's regiments. He did not realize that Jackson's twenty-four thousand-man force had glided by him until Jackson seized control of a Union supply base at Manassas Junction, site of the First Battle of Bull Run. Upon arriving at Manassas, Jackson's hungry and tired men immediately devoured large quantities of the Union provisions, which included everything from turkey and beef to lobster salad and wine.
News of Jackson's successful maneuver shocked and confused Pope, who nonetheless roused his army. Urged on by Pope, the Union troops set out for Manassas in hopes of defeating Jackson before Lee could send reinforcements. On August 29, Pope found Jackson's army, and the Union general launched an immediate attack. The advance failed, though, partly because Pope had come to the mistaken belief that Stonewall's troops were already in retreat, when in reality they had assumed strong defensive positions. Another reason for the failure of the Union attack was the poor performance of a number of Pope's lieutenants in the heat of battle. Finally, Northern military leaders in Washington were slow to send additional troops to help Pope, even though Mc-
Clellan's army had returned from the Virginia peninsula by this time. Mc-Clellan himself argued that his troops should remain in defense of the capital and that Pope should be left "to get out of his scrape by himself."
As the battle at Manassas continued during the afternoon of August 30, Pope became convinced that Jackson's outnumbered army was on the verge of collapse. He ordered his troops forward, unaware that Lee's forces had arrived the night before and taken up positions along the Union flank. As the Union Army launched its attack, a sudden eruption of Confederate artillery fire ripped into it, destroying the offensive.
The Union charge quickly turned into a retreat. Confederate troops gave chase, and by the end of the day Pope's army was in tatters. As the dust settled on Manassas Junction, it was clear that the Confederacy had won another major battle on its soil. This clash, called the Second Battle of Bull Run, resulted in more than sixteen thousand Union casualties. It also created more uncertainty about the North's military leadership. Lee's army suffered damage as well—more than ninety-one hundred men were killed or wounded in the battle. But in the aftermath of Second Bull Run, the South stood poised to invade the North.
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