Second Manassas | Aug 30, 1862
On August 30, 1862, Union commander John Pope receives conflicting intelligence and weighs his options. Mistakenly convinced that the Confederates are retreating, the Union commander orders a pursuit near midday, but the advance quickly ends when skirmishers encounter Jackson’s forces still ensconced behind the unfinished railroad. Pope, still undeterred, shifts to a major assault on Jackson’s line. Porter’s corps and Brig. Gen. John Hatch’s division attack Jackson’s right at the “Deep Cut,” an excavated section of the railroad grade. However, with ample artillery support, the Confederate defenders repulse the attack.
Gen. Robert E. Lee and Maj. Gen. James Longstreet seize the initiative and launch a massive counterattack against the Union left. Longstreet’s wing, reinforced by Lee and nearly 30,000 strong, sweep eastward toward Henry Hill, where the Confederates hope to cut off Pope’s escape. Union forces mount a tenacious defense on Chinn Ridge, which buys time for Pope to shift enough troops onto Henry Hill and stave off disaster. The Union lines on Henry Hill hold as the Confederate counterattack stalls before dusk. After dark, Pope pulls his beaten army off the field and retreats across Bull Run defeated for a second time on the "Plains of Manassas."