Bull Run, SECOND BATTLE OF: The second battle of Bull Run (or Manassas) was fought on Aug. 29-30, 1862. the fighting on the first day being sometimes called the battle of GROVETON. On the morning after the battle at Groveton,
Pope's army was greatly reduced. It had failed to prevent the unity of
Lee's army, and prudence dictated its immediate flight across Bull Run, and even to the
defenses of Washington.
The Battle of Bull Run
Pope determined to resume the battle the next morning. He had received no reinforcements or supplies since the 26th, and had no positive assurance that any would be sent. He confidently expected rations and forage from
McClellan at Alexandria (a short distance away), who was to supply them; and it was not until the morning of the 30th ( August, 1862) , when it was too late to retreat and perilous to stand still, that he received information that rations and forage would be sent as soon as he (Pope) should send a cavalry escort for the train— a thing impossible. He had no alternative but to fight. Both commanders had made dispositions for attack in the morning.
Lee's movements gave
Pope the impression that the Confederates were retreating, and he ordered
McDowell to pursue with a large force, Porter's forces to advance and attack then, and Heintzelman and Reno, supported by Ricketts's division, were ordered to assail and turn the Confederate left. This movement, when attempted, revealed a state of affairs fearful to the National army. The latter, as their advance moved forward, were opened upon by a fierce fire of
cannon, shot, shell, and bullets, and at the same moment a large number of
Lee's troops were making a flank movement that might imperil the whole of Pope's army. A very severe battle soon occurred. Porter's corps, which had recoiled at the unexpected blow, was rallied, and performed specially good service; and
Jackson's advanced line was steadily pushed back until five o'clock in the afternoon, when
Longstreet turned the tide of battle by pouring a destructive artillery fire upon the Nationals. Line after line was swept away, and very soon the whole left was put to flight.
Jackson advanced, and
Longstreet pushed his heavy columns against Pope's centre, while the Confederate artillery was doing fearful execution. The left of the Nationals, though pushed back, was unbroken, and held the Warrenton pike, by which alone
Pope's army might safely retreat. Pope had now no alternative but to fall back towards the defenses at Washington. At eight o'clock in the evening he gave orders to that effect. This movement was made during the night, across Bull Run, to the heights of
Centreville, the brigades of
Seymour covering the retreat. The night was very dark, and
Lee did not pursue; and in the morning (Aug. 31) Bull Run again divided the two great armies. So ended the second battle of Bull Run.