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Second Manassas - Porter’s Attack - August 30, 1862

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Porter's Attack - August 30, 1862
Porter's Attack - August 30, 1862

American Battlefield Trust’s map of the Battle of Second Manassas

Porter’s Attack - August 30, 1862

Though a series of assaults against "Stonewall" Jackson’s position along the unfinished railroad grade were repulsed with heavy casualties on August 29, Union commander John Pope remained convinced that he could "bag Jackson" at Manassas.  On August 30, Pope renewed his attacks, this time attempting to turn the Confederate right.  In a "short but sanguinary engagement" the Union Fifth Corps under Fitz John Porter advanced against Jackson's well-entrenched troops, only to be torn apart by massed Confederate artillery.  In the ensuing confusion James Longstreet’s newly-arrived wing of 28,000 Confederates counterattacked.  This—the largest simultaneous mass assault of the war—crushed the Union left flank and the Federals were driven back to Bull Run. Only an effective Union rearguard action prevented a replay of the First Manassas disaster. Pope’s retreat to Centreville was precipitous, nonetheless.  The next day, Lee ordered his army in pursuit. This was the decisive battle of the Northern Virginia Campaign.

Learn More: Second Manassas