The Life and Campaigns of General Lee, by Edward Lee Childe, Chapter 8

The Life and Campaigns of General Lee, by Edward Lee Childe


ALTHOUGH the presence of Jackson’s corps at the battle of Cold Harbour might have been ascertained, so great was the fright which his unforeseen movements had caused in the councils of President Lincoln, that it was decided a Federal army should remain between Washington and the Rappahannock to cover the capital. Fremont and Banks received orders to cross the mountains and join MacDowell’s corps, and thus to constitute an army of 60,000 men. The whole were put under the orders of Major-General Pope, who had signalised himself in the West by some successes more imaginary than real—so said slander. This army was called the army of Virginia. Pope was full of energy, and might probably have distinguished himself as a division-general under a skilful leader, but he was entirely unfit for the command-in-chief. Although the principal mission of the new general-in-chief was to cover Washington, it was well understood that his ultimate object was Richmond.

The defeat of the army of the Potomac spread consternation in the North. MacClellan’s enemies, at whose head were General Halleck, who had succeeded General Scott as generalissimo, and the War Minister, Staunton, profited by it to ruin him. Without taking account of the skill and energy he had shown, and which, indeed, had saved the army of the Potomac, Mr. Lincoln, on the 5th of August, transmitted MacClellan an order to retire from the Peninsula, and join his forces with those of General Pope in the neighbourhood of Acquia Creek, on the Potomac. If Mr. Lincoln could have known that in recalling MacClellan he was doing precisely what Lee most desired, perhaps he would have altered his mind.

Otherwise, the Federal Government acted with vigour, and military operations, except in Virginia, were conducted with success. In the west and south, the entire course of the Mississippi, except at Vicksburg, was in its hands. New Orleans and Memphis belonged to it, and the Confederate army of the west had retired from Corinth to Tupelo. But MacClellan’s defeat paled all these triumphs. Without losing heart, President Lincoln made another appeal for 300,000 soldiers. Congress enacted several important laws; one confiscating the slaves of all who supported the Southern cause; another authorizing the levy of negro troops; a third enjoining on Federal officers to seize and make use of, for their convenience, all property belonging to the Southerners, landed or moveable, without at all indemnifying the persons so despoiled Thus, the Southern States were thrust beyond the pale of the law, and the Draconian programme of the radicals had it all its own way.

The arrival of General Pope’s army in Northern Virginia was signalised by several orders of the day remarkable for their brutality, and for the iniquitous system so inaugurated of making war contrary to the usages of civilized nations.

Every time damage was done to a railway, high-road, or telegraph, all the inhabitants for two miles round were obliged to repair it at their own expense. If a shot were fired from a house on a Federal soldier or other servant, that house was rased to the ground, and those who lived in it sent to prison. Everybody taken in the act was shot on the spot.

One of Pope’s subordinates, Brigadier-General Steinwehr, hastened to put these orders into execution. He arrested five of the most notable citizens of Luray, in Page County, Virginia, and kept them as hostages. They were admitted to his table and decently treated, but for every soldier who fell under the bullets of guerillas, numerous in those parts, and, indeed, at all times of disorder, one of these hostages was to be shot. The order of the day added that guerillas could not maintain their stand were they not encouraged by the citizens of the country. If the pretext urged by Pope had been true, perhaps these measures might have been excusable; but the damage done to railways was the work of Confederate soldiers acting under the orders of their government. It was in cases of legitimate defence that Federal soldiers were slain. The true end of these orders of the day, inspired by the radicals, was to strike terror into the Virginians. The honourable spirit of MacClellan would never have lent itself to such manœuvres.

But Pope dared still more. He published a new order of the day, directing officers under his command to arrest all the inhabitants of localities occupied by Federal troops. Those of them who consented to pay fealty and homage to the United States, giving sufficient guarantees, would be authorized to remain in their houses. Those, on the contrary, who refused to take the oath demanded would be conducted to the Confederate outposts. They were cautioned that if they reappeared in the neighbourhood of their old dwellings they would be treated as spies, and shot without mercy. Whoever violated the oath taken was likewise shot, and all his goods confiscated. Whoever had the least connection with persons within the enemy’s lines, whoever was surprised carrying letters or any other communication whatever, was to be treated as a spy.

These measures scattered consternation. To take an oath to the Federal Government filled everybody with horror: exile was complete ruin. Despite all representations made to General Pope, he persisted in his orders. Authorized to live at the expense of the Confederate country, the Northern troops did not delay to assume habits of pillage much to be regretted. Nothing escaped them. Nothing was left to the unfortunate inhabitants. The greatest trickery the Federal soldiers conceived was to palm off in the district false Confederate bank notes, which the Virginians, unsuspicious of the deceit, eagerly accepted. In order the more effectually to deliver up the conquered country to the brutal appetites of his soldiers, General Pope, by a new order of the day, forbade the placing of sentinels to protect certain estates, which some of the officers had had the delicacy to do.

At length the Confederate Government was obliged to interfere. A proclamation of President Davis, bearing date August 1st, 1862, after having recited all the measures adopted by General Pope, the result of which was to cause a war, hitherto an enterprise against regular troops, to degenerate into an expedition of maurauders, pillagers, and brigands, against peaceable and unarmed citizens occupied in field labours; added that the Confederate Government, influenced by a sentiment of justice and humanity, did not wish to make use of reprisals towards mere Federal soldiers happening to be prisoners, who could only be the involuntary instruments of such cruelties, but that formal orders had been given that Generals Pope and Steinwehr, as well as all the officers serving under these two generals, should no longer be treated as soldiers and exchanged on parole; and, further, that all Federal officers taken after the day of the proclamation should be imprisoned securely, and that in every case where a citizen of the Confederate States was assassinated under any pretext whatever, a Federal officer should be hung for each Confederate shot.

This proclamation produced its effect. On the 15th of August the Federal Government modified its instructions so as to satisfy the legitimate demands of the Confederates. General Pope, indeed, pretended that his orders had been misinterpreted. Be that as it may, the evil was cut at its root. All motives for reprisal having ceased, on the 24th of September, 97 officers of Pope’s army, retained as hostages, were, exchanged. But this general had none the less profited by the few days he had had. When his soldiers invaded the Rappahannock district it was full of life and prosperity. On their departure it was nearly a desert, and the inhabitants were reduced to beggary.

As soon as Pope had assembled his 60,000 men, he conducted them, on July 1st, by the Orange and Alexandria Railway, to the Rappahannock, thus menacing Gordonsville and Charlottesville. If he succeeded in occupying these two points, he hoped to intercept Lee’s communications with the south-west of Virginia. He established himself at Culpepper, his right extending towards the Blue Ridge, and his left to the Rapidan.

The Washington Government manifestly sought to mystify General Lee, and leave him in doubt as to the ulterior operations of the Federals. Would MacClellan recommence his attack on Richmond from the James River side, or was the real movement to be made from the north? Without troubling about this matter, the Southern general remained with the bulk of his army under Richmond, contenting himself with sending Jackson, on the 13th of July, with two divisions, in the direction of Gordonsville. Lee prudently observed all that was passing, both on the James and on the Upper Rappahannock. Pope’s movement could only be a feint, but on the 27th of July, MacClellan still giving no signs of life, A. P. Hill’s division was detached to support Jackson, while General D. H. Hill, on the south bank of the James, disturbed General MacClellan’s communications both by his evolutions and the fire of his artillery.

But the time was approaching when it would be necessary for the Federals to unmask their real design. On the and of August, Jackson took the offensive by attacking the enemy at Orange Court House. On August 5th, MacClellan made a vigorous demonstration against the Confederate lines to hinder Lee from sending new reinforcements to his lieutenant. The Federals were massed in close column on Malvern Hill, where they drew up in order of battle, as if MacClellan’s intention were to renew his march on Richmond. Lee immediately accepted the challenge, and a trifling engagement took place at Curl’s Neck. The next morning the Federal army had disappeared, and it became plain that all this show of force had been but a feint.

This situation lasted till the middle of August, when Lee learnt most positively that the fleet bringing General Burnside and his troops, who were returning from the coasts of Carolina, were directed towards the Rappahannock to reinforce Pope. Henceforward it was clear that the true movement was to be on this side.

Jackson had just struck the enemy a formidable blow, energetically co-operating, as was his wont, in the general plan. MacClellan had endeavoured to retain Lee before Richmond; Jackson, on the other hand, hastened the recall of MacClellan’s army by a vigorous combat which he had with the Federals. He crossed the Rapidan at the head of his three divisions, and, on August the 9th, attacked Pope’s van at Cedar Run. The contest was obstinate. At one period Jackson’s left suffered much, but at night the action was terminated by the retreat of the Federals, and the Confederate General remained master of the battle-field. He had, however, but few forces to maintain himself against the bulk of the hostile army which was advancing; there was nothing for him, therefore, but to retire behind the Rapidan, into the vicinity of Gordonsville, where General Lee soon rejoined him with the greater part of the Confederate army.

Jackson’s vigorous demonstration seriously disturbed the Federal staff. General Halleck immediately recalled General MacClellan, and ordered him to join General Pope as soon as possible. Thus the combat at Cedar Run had at one and the same time stopped, Pope’s march and delivered Richmond from the presence of MacClellan.

The theatre of war was about to change. We must turn our look to other districts in order to appreciate the magnificent campaigns of the summer and autumn of 1862, in Southern Virginia and Maryland.

Lee had, as we know, conducted all his military operations with the greatest prudence, determined to allow his opponents to take no advantage, and to remain firm under the walls of the Confederate capital till all danger had passed. The junction of Burnside and Pope relieved him for the future from taking so many precautions. Besides, the numerous reinforcements sent by MacClellan to Pope’s army indicated very clearly the plans of the Washington Cabinet. “It appeared evident,” said General Lee, “that all movements on the James had been abandoned.” Whence he sagaciously concluded that the surest means of succouring Richmond was to augment Jackson’s troops, and force Pope back beyond the Rappahannock. Lee in this gave proof of military talents of a superior order. He took in at a glance—and this constitutes clear foresight—what was to be done, and displayed that resolution which executes without hesitation.

He gave orders to Longstreet’s division, and the two brigades under General Hood, to leave Richmond on the 13th, and march to Gordonsville. Stuart was to leave at Fredericksburg a corps of cavalry sufficient to watch the enemy and guard the central railway, and to put the rest of his cavalry at General Jackson’s disposal. The two divisions of D. H. Hill and MacLaws, two brigades under General Walker, and the cavalry brigade under General Hampton, remained on the James to watch the Federals.

Longstreet reached Gordonsville on the 15th of August. Lee closely followed him. On the 16th the Federal army approached the Rapidan. The Confederate general-in-chief lost not an instant in disposing his forces so as to turn it. Stuart was ordered to cross the river on the extreme Federal right, to bum the railway bridge of the Rappahannock on the line of communication between Pope and Washington, to destroy the permanent way and telegraph, and take his course towards Culpepper Court House in the rear of the Federal army. Longstreet, with the Confederate right wing, was to cross the Rapidan at Racoon Ford, and march straight on Culpepper. Jackson was to ford the same river at Somerville Ford, keeping to the left of Longstreet. R. H. Anderson would follow with the reserves. In this way Lee would be on Pope’s left flank, and the latter would run the risk of being annihilated. But the Federal general had wind of what was preparing, and retired in hot haste, on the 18th and 19th, to the rear of the Rappahannock.

On the 20th, the whole Confederate army were on its banks, having crossed the Rapidan without hindrance, a few cavalry skirmishes only excepted. Lee, seeing all the fords of the Rappahannock strongly guarded, resolved to repeat his previous manœuvre, and disposed the bulk of his army so as to mask the flank movement entrusted to Jackson. The latter stole away on the mud, and reached Warrenton Springs in the evening, on the old road from Warrenton to Culpepper Court House. Finding the bridge at this place broken, he defeated the few Federal troops stationed there, and became master of the passage. A terrible storm bursting out at this moment made the waters rise, and interrupted military operations. The two armies exchanged gunshots; but Longstreet soon joined Jackson at Jefferstonton, and the 24th passed quietly. Just then General Stuart brought Lee important news which hastened his resolution to act promptly.

Stuart had been directed by his chief to reconnoitre in force to the rear of the enemy. Starting on the 22nd from Freeman’s Ford on the Rappahannock with 1500 cavalry and two pieces of artillery, he arrived in the evening at Warrenton. Thence, learning that the roads were open, he proceeded to Catlett’s Station, on the railway, to destroy the bridge, but the storm broke over the little column. Still advancing, at night he reached the little village of Auburn. The Federal sentries were surprised and taken. Presently Stuart perceived he was in the midst of the hostile camp. The night was black, and rain fell in torrents; it was nearly impossible to see anything. Happily, at that moment, a trooper seized a negro and brought him to Stuart. This negro had known the general before the war, and informed him he was close to the head-quarters, offering to lead him there. Stuart accepted. Some minutes later, Fitzhugh Lee’s regiment rushed into the midst of the tents of Pope’s staff. The surprise was complete. The Federal chief escaped with difficulty. A large number of prisoners was taken, nearly all officers, without reckoning their personal effects and General Pope’s horses; but the most precious prize was the Federal general’s despatch-book, containing copies of all his official correspondence with his government.

The Federals, recovered from their surprise, began to reassemble in force. Prudence counselled to Stuart a quick retreat. After a useless attempt to destroy the railway bridge, too much sodden by the rain to take fire, Stuart, knowing that the stow would raise the level of the waters between him and the Confederate army, which might perhaps cut off his retreat, resumed his march, taking the way he had come. His return was effected in safety, and on the 23rd he recrossed the Rappahannock. His loss was trifling. He brought back 300 prisoners, of whom the greater part were officers, some belonging to Pope’s staff.

The precious despatch-book was immediately delivered to the general-in-chief. In it Pope informed his government that he was afraid he should be unable to retain the line of the Rappahannock, and begged for new troops. This book made Lee aware of the number and position of the different corps of the enemy, as well as of the projects of his adversary. He likewise learnt that MacClellan had left Westover, that a part of his army was on the road to join Pope, that the remainder were getting ready to follow, and that General Cox’s army was recalled from the valley of the Kanawha (Western Virginia), in order to swell Pope’s forces. If, therefore, these different corps joined the Federal chief, he would be at the head of nearly 200,000 men. The Confederates had only 70,000. Prompt action was therefore necessary.

Certain now that MacClellan was retiring from before Richmond, Lee immediately summoned to the Rappahannock all the forces he had left behind on the James. The Confederate general had conceived a bold plan, one which seemed to promise the defeat of the enemy. Jackson was to cross the Rappahannock beyond Pope’s right wing, pass to the rear of that wing, and, by gaining it, cut off its communications with Washington. Longstreet meanwhile would menace Pope, to divert his attention from Jackson’s movement, then follow the latter when he was sufficiently in advance. Lee, by placing all his army between Pope and the City of Washington, hoped to make him accept battle before his reinforcements arrived.

Thus to divide his army in the presence of the enemy, leaving one half on the Rappahannock opposite the Federals, and sending the other by a round-about way to fall on their rear at Manassas, was to violate the first and most important of the rules of the military art, which forbids the dividing of one’s forces in the face of the foe. That Lee dared it shows he held in light esteem the skill of his enemy. These flank attacks undoubtedly had a great attraction for him as well as for Jackson. His preference for this manœuvre is explained by the character of the soldiers on both sides, and by the configuration of the country. In both armies, the men were often inexperienced recruits, easily stricken with panic by any sudden surprise; it was enough, therefore, for an enemy to appear on their flank or rear to throw their ranks into disorder. The woody nature of the country where they fought rendered these movements easy to execute. It was necessary that the general who undertook such a responsibility should not fail in boldness. This quality Lee had shown several times, and as he always succeeded, there can be no denying that, from a military point of view, he was justified.

To conduct the perilous operation under consideration Lee had chosen the intrepid Jackson. It was imperative to act with rapidity. On August 25th, the already celebrated division-general set out from Warrenton Springs. Skirting the southern bank of the Rappahannock, he crossed at Hinson’s Ford, and pursued his way, dragging his guns with great difficulty along the narrow and stony road. Coming to the foot of the Blue Ridge, across fields, and along roads little frequented, he marched direct for Thoroughfare Gap, where the railway of Manassas Gap passes across the mountains of Bull’s Run. It was necessary to reach this defile before the enemy was aware of his movements, lest they should get in front of him. The heat was oppressive, but nobody dreamt of stopping. At midnight the indefatigable soldiers, after a forced march of 35 miles, arrived at Salem, where they passed the night. Jackson had communicated his indomitable energy to his men; there were no stragglers, and although half famished, and with bruised feet, they wished to go on. All along the route the inhabitants welcomed them with joy and astonishment. It was months since they had seen the grey jackets in their neighbourhood, and all wished to know whence they came and whither they were going. But to all their questions the soldiers had received orders to answer nothing. Stuart’s cavalry marched on Jackson’s right flank and parallel to it, in order to conceal the movement of the latter, and hinder the enemy from learning the object of this forced march. On the 26th of August, Jackson reached Thoroughfare Gap, which, to his exceeding joy, he found unoccupied. At sunset he arrived at Bristoe, a station on the railway from Orange to Alexandria. A train was presently heard coming at full speed from Warrenton Junction. In spite of all his endeavours Ewell had not time to throw it off the line. His troopers, however, fired into it a volley while passing. More fortunate a second and a third time, the Confederates seized two trains. But the Federals soon learnt what had happened, and the train service on that line ceased.

The first part of Lee’s plan had succeeded. Jackson was in Pope’s rear on the railway by which the Federals received all their supplies. At Bristoe the former learnt that the enemy had established the principal depot of all his supplies, provisions, and ammunition at Manassas Junction, seven miles from Bristoe. In spite of the thirty miles they had just traversed, and the darkness of the night, Brigadier-general Trimble continued his march on Manassas, followed by Stuart and the cavalry. After a short sharp struggle the Confederates mastered Manassas. They found there an enormous quantity of provisions of all kinds,—meat, flour, provender. This was a real feast for Jackson’s half-starved soldiers when they arrived on the morrow. They had permission to make a good meal at the enemy’s expense, and as nothing could be carried away, for want of the means of transport, all the rest was destroyed. the spectacle of a soldier with naked feet, covered with rags, eating lobster salad and drinking Rhine wine appeared somewhat comical. On the 27th, in the morning, Jackson arrived at Manassas with the rest of his troops. Ewell’s division alone had been left at Bristoe Station to disturb the Federal retreat, in case they should retire from the Rappahannock. If he found himself too hotly pressed, he was to rejoin Jackson at Manassas. Shortly after General Jackson’s arrival, a Federal brigade attempted to recapture the lost positions, but it was routed, and Taylor, its general, slain.

Pope, although warned by his sentinels, did not at first understand Jackson’s movements, but thought the Confederates were retiring towards the mountains. But the capture of Manassas opened his eyes. His army was very numerous. The divisions of Reynolds, Porter, and Heintzelman, of the army of the Potomac (MacClellan’s), had joined him, and the corps of Sumner and Franklin, belonging to the same army, were on their march to range themselves under his command. Without counting these latter he had with him 120,000 fighting men, and could hurl them in a mass against Jackson’s single corps. The opportunity was not wanting. Jackson and Longstreet were apart. Pope ought to have seized the road which led from Thoroughfare Gap to the position Jackson occupied. Then Longstreet, in order to effect a junction with the latter, would have been obliged to accept battle, and while this part of the army was held in check, Jackson might have been crushed. Consequently MacDowell’s corps bore rapidly down on Gainesville, followed by the corps of Sigel, and the division of Reynolds. If this masterstroke succeeded, Pope would have placed 40,000 of his best soldiers between Longstreet and Manassas. Reno and Heintzelman’s two corps and Kearney’s division took the road to Greenwich, in order to be within reach of MacDowell, while the Federal chief with Hooker’s divis[i]on marched straight on Manassas, following the railway. To Banks’s corps was entrusted the task of covering Warrenton Junction and repairing the permanent way. General Porter was to go with all haste to Gainesville from Warrenton Junction as soon as Banks had replaced him. The Federal plan was excellent.

MacDowell occupied Gainseville on the night of the 27th. Reno and Keamey at the same time reached Greenwich. Hooker likewise got near Ewell at Bristoe Station. Pressed too close, the Confederate general, according to Jackson’s direction, retired in good order, and crossed the Broad Run, burning the railway bridge. The same night he rejoined his chief at Manassas. His determined resistance led Pope to believe that the conflict would begin again next day. Consequently the march of Porter’s corps on Gainesville was countermanded, and he was ordered to join Hooker at Bristoe Station the same night.

Jackson’s position was critical. The bulk of the hostile army, numbering 70,000 men, was at Greenwich and Gainesville, between him and Longstreet, and Pope was marching on him with the remainder. Every moment his scouts brought him news more and more alarming. There was no time to lose. To retire from Manassas became absolutely necessary.

Jackson had the choice between two operations:—to make a rapid detour by Aldie round Bull’s Run mountain and rejoin Longstreet, which he could at present easily do. But this would be to give up Lee’s plan, the essence of which was to force Pope to accept battle on a ground chosen by the Confederate chief, while the Federals were cut off from their base of supplies, and not yet joined by their reinforcements. The other plan offered great dangers, but promised the general, who in the end adopted it, success to his plans. This was to retire towards Bull’s Run, and there occupy a position nearer Thoroughfare Gap. It was plain that he could only maintain himself there by great efforts, but he was no great distance from Longstreet, menacing Pope’s communications, and having continually as a last resource the power of retreating by Aldie. That evening the immense quantities of victuals and war-material accumulated by the Federals at Manassas were delivered to the flames, and by the light of the fire the Confederates marched towards Bull’s Run. It was a cruel sacrifice for these poor half-famished fellows to carry away none of the good things, but had they done so their movements would have been much impeded. They, therefore, fired the provisions of which they had such pressing need, and gaily started in the night to encounter new dangers and endure new privations.

The destruction of everything magazined at Manassas was a terrible blow to General Pope. “My men,” wrote he in his report, “exhausted by the marches and combats of the preceding days, and very short of provisions, slept under arms. Then for two days our horses were without provender. I telegraphed a pressing demand that rations should be sent me; but on Saturday morning, August 30th, before the battle began, I received a letter from General Franklin, dated the previous evening from Alexandria, informing me that General MacClellan wished me to know that rations for men and beasts were waiting for me, loaded in railway trucks and carriages, till I was able to send an escort of cavalry to fetch them from Alexandria. All hope of maintaining myself in the position I occupied, whatever might be the result of the battle, disappeared on the reading of this epistle. My cavalry was quite spent, in consequence of the rough work it had done for some time, and, sad as was the state to which it had been reduced, I yet could not do without it in the presence of the enemy. I comprehended, therefore, that that day’s action would be decisive, for at night it would be necessary to place Bull’s Run between the enemy and ourselves, if we did not wish to perish of hunger, both men and beasts.”

The excuse here offered by Pope, by which he tried to explain his defeat, is of no value. Although the Confederates had to suffer many more privations than their foes, they did not the less gain the victory. Besides, General Franklin’s letter reached Pope on August 30th, the day of a decisive action, when it was already impossible for convoys of provisions to get to his army. Fitz Lee’s cavalry was disposed in such a manner as to intercept all the roads.

To deceive the enemy, A. P. Hill’s Confederate division, with a part of the cavalry, took the road from Centreville, but after having passed Bull’s Run, defiled to the left and rejoined Jackson, who was found in position on the old field of battle of July 21st, 1861, his right a little above the village of Groveton, and his left supported on Sudley Ford. General Jackson had thus neutralized the measures, excellent though they were, that Pope had taken, and had likewise obtained a communication with General Lee, in spite of the Federal troops at Gainesville. He occupied besides a strong position, and had secured a safe line of retreat in case of misfortune; thus matters passed till the evening of August 28th. With the mountain at his back, Jackson awaited Lee.

Pope believing Jackson would endeavour to hold Manassas, conducted MacDowell and Reno’s columns during the night of the 27th from Gainesville and Greenwich towards Manassas, making sure of there crushing Jackson. On the morning of the 28th, he advanced with Kearney, Hooker, and Reno’s divisions, but finding that Ewell had profited by the night hours to disappear, the Federal General hastily marched on Manassas, where he arrived at midday. To his great amazement, Jackson was nowhere to be seen Pope then perceived what a blunder he had committed in ordering MacDowell from Gainesville, leaving the road open for Lee to join Jackson.

Without losing an instant, a despatch was sent to MacDowell, countermanding his movement on Manassas, and directing him to proceed by the road from Warrenton to Centreville. Pope himself marched rapidly on the latter place in pursuit of R. P. Hill’s division, which he believed to be Jackson’s entire corps. But he had lost too much time; he was completely mystified, and no longer knew where to find Jackson.

On the evening of the 28th, MacDowell arrived close to Groveton. Not knowing he was so near the enemy, he imprudently presented his flank to him; perceiving which, Jackson fell on him and inflicted a heavy loss. Reinforcements arriving, the Federals maintained their position till night, and then retired to Manassas Junction. In this combat, the Confederate Generals Tagliaferro and Ewell were severely wounded.

During this time, Lee, commanding Longstreet’s corps in person, had not lost a moment in his efforts to rejoin Jackson. On the 26th, he passed the Rappahannock. The night following, on the 27th he reached White Plains, his march having been delayed by demonstrations on the part of the hostile cavalry in the direction of Warrenton, who appeared to threaten his right. Having no cavalry he could not nullify these movements, and was obliged to advance cautiously. On the evening of the 28th, he reached Thoroughfare Gap. At that moment the engagement between Jackson and MacDowell was taking place, and the noise of the cannon on the Groveton side, indicating that Jackson was at blows with his adversary, reached Lee’s ears. Surely it is not surprising that he then became full of anxiety, for the disproportion of forces between Jackson and Pope was enormous. To increase his embarrassment the pass was defended by he knew not how many Federals, and even he experienced some emotion lest Jackson should be crushed before he could lend him succour. He climbed the summit of a hill at a gallop, and alighting, attentively examined with his telescope the sombre and woody defile which barred his passage. But on his countenance nothing appeared; not a movement betrayed his emotion. Calm and collected, he shut up his telescope, remained a moment immovable, wrapt in thought, then, stepping to his horse, he remounted, and descended the hill.

This Thoroughfare Gap defile is a very strong position, and was occupied by a Federal division. The only road through the gorge and the sides of the mountain was swept by the hostile artillery. Generals Hood and Wilcox, with five brigades, received orders to turn the position. Before they could reach the right of the Federals, the latter had retired towards Manassas, and Longstreet bivouacked for the night to the east of the mountain. Next morning, August 29th, Longstreet’s troops took position under Lee’s eye on Jackson’s right; at midday the army was ranged in order of battle.

Jackson was preparing to receive a new attack. His soldiers were tired out with this long course of exhausting marches and incessant fights; hunger also was cruelly pinching them, but morally the little army was nowise affected. They knew their commander had just received tidings of General Lee, announcing that the latter had passed the Thoroughfare Gap. All danger, therefore, was over. Jackson’s skill and the men’s heroism had crowned Lee’s brilliant conceptions with success. The enemy was obliged to deliver battle, and that, too, not against a feeble portion of the Confederate army, but against the total mass of the Confederate forces.

On the morning of the 29th General Sigel received from General Pope an order to attack the enemy’s line; consequently, at ten o’clock, his guns opened fire. At that moment, Longstreet’s troops arrived on the battle-field. Jackson’s batteries smartly answered the Federal fire. At noon, Pope came to support Sigel with Reno and Heintzelman’s corps. Heintzelman’s corps, consisting of Hooker and Kearney’s divisions, formed the Federal right; Reno and Sigel were in the centre; Regnold’s division held the left. At three o’clock, Pope ordered Hooker to bear down on Jackson’s left, and crowd it back on the centre. The subordinate, better appreciating the difficulty than his superior, sought to make it understood at head-quarters; in vain; he must obey. The result of his attack, vigorous though it was, after piercing Hill’s first line, was to see himself hurled back and crushed by the enemy’s batteries. The opposing forces frequently exchanged shots at only ten paces distance. Kearney flew to Hooker’s aid, but only to experience the same fate. At every new assault, Hill’s troops thrust back the Federals, inflicting on them disastrous losses.

In the morning Porter had sought to become master of Gainesville, but had been met by Longstreet’s forces. Later in the day, Pope having learnt his whereabouts, ordered him to turn the right wing and take the Confederates in the rear, still thinking he had to do with Jackson’s troops only. Obliged to attack Longstreet’s forces in front, Porter was vigorously repulsed. At six o’clock, the moment when he thought Porter was assaulting the Confederate right, Pope threw himself furiously on their left. Hill’s men had no more ammunition. Thus the first Federal attack was crowned with success, and Hill’s left thrown back towards its centre, the enemy pursuing with cries of triumph. Hill’s Confederates resisted frantically, hurling pieces of rock at their foes. At this critical juncture Early’s brigade ran to their succour, and the enemy, in his turn, was promptly driven back beyond the railway. Longstreet, on his side, ordered Hood to advance and make a diversion in Jackson’s favour. At the moment when he was preparing to obey, he was attacked by Porter; but the latter could not maintain his ground, and was obliged to retire, hotly pursued.

Thus on all sides the Federals beat a retreat. At nine o’clock they halted in some strong positions, and the Confederates ceased pursuing. In this battle the Federals confessed having lost 8000 men.

The Northern Virginian army encamped for the night on the ground it had occupied during the day. If General Pope had listened to the simplest laws of prudence, he would have retired into the Washington lines. His losses already amounted to 17,000 men; morally his soldiers had suffered much, owing to their reverses and extraordinary fatigues, to which were now added the pangs of hunger. Nevertheless he resolved to risk another battle.

On the morning of the 30th of August, a splendid sun illuminated the two armies. With its first rays they were ready to recommence. General Lee occupied the position of the evening before. His left was at Sudley Ford, on Bull’s Run, his centre at Groveton, his right on the Manassas Gap Railway. In the centre, on a height, 32 pieces of ordnance commanded the battlefield. Longstreet’s corps was disposed obliquely with reference to Jackson’s, so that the Confederate line took the form of the letter V, the two wings in front. The artillery was placed so as to resist the attacks of the enemy and support the Confederate advance. The cavalry protected both flanks. The Federal line was obliged to conform to the arrangement which Lee had taken, and had the shape of a V reversed, the centre being at the angle in front, and the wings in the rear. In the morning there were several skirmishes between the outposts. MacDowell was ordered to march with three corps along the Warrenton Road. At four o’clock the head of his columns came out of the woods facing Jackson’s lines. Presently the central Confederate batteries opened fire, and shortly after, all the Southern guns did likewise. The Federal troops could not stand, and disorder arose in their ranks. Still Pope sent them reinforcements after reinforcements; the fight continued, and the battle thundered all along Jackson’s lines. At five o’clock, the brunt of the strife being still borne by Jackson, Longstreet was obliged to come to his aid. The Federal line, by means of extending, came within reach of Longstreet’s batteries, who rained, down upon it a shower of cannonballs. Exhausted by their repeated efforts to carry Lee’s positions, and decimated by grape-shot from all the batteries, the Federals gave way and retired in disorder. Seeing which, all the Confederate army advanced briskly, pressing the enemy at all points, and menacing the Federal retreat on Bull’s Run. At nightfall Pope’s position became still more critical, by the taking of a series of heights occupied by Reynolds and Rickett’s divisions, which an impetuous charge by Longstreet had torn from them. On one point the Federals still held out, namely, on an elevated plain, sufficiently high to command Bull’s Run Ford, over which the retreat must be. If the Confederates could have gained it, it would have been all over with the Federals. But all the Northern army clung to this plateau, feeling that here was their plank of safety, and the Confederate efforts were in vain. Thanks to this resistance the remains of the Northern army were able to defile across Bull’s Run towards Washington, and at ten o’clock, Pope, with the assistance of the darkness, put the watercourse between him and his adversary. The night was very black, the fords very uncertain, and Lee judged it best to await the morning.

The 31st of August saw Pope in position on the heights of Centreville. There Franklin and Sumner’s crops had rejoined him. Lee had no wish to let him escape without again taking his measurement. Longstreet was charged to hold the enemy in check, remaining on the previous day’s battle-field, and Jackson to repeat the old manœuvre, and, by turning Pope’s right, to throw himself on his line of retreat. Jackson crossed Bull’s Run at Sudley Ford, and marched all day in a deluge of rain to Chantilly, where he encamped for the night. Next morning he continued his march to Fairfax Court House. As soon as he learnt this movement of Jackson, Pope retired, and the 1st of September found him posted, his left at Fairfax Court House, and his right at Oxhill, near Germantown.

At five o’clock, p.m., Jackson arrived at Oxhill. The rain still fell in torrents. he immediately formed columns of attack. Hill and his division were on the right, the old division of Ewell held the centre, and Jackson the left. Although the rain was full in the faces of the Confederate soldiers, they charged with their usual vigour. Received by a well-kept fire, Branch’s brigade faltered a moment, but the rest of Hill’s division supported him. Stevens’s Federal division was repulsed, and its general killed. General Kearney, seeking to rally the Federal line, was likewise slain. Shortly after the enemy beat a retreat, and on the day following, the entire Northern army retired within the Washington lines. The campaign was over. On the 2nd of September, in the morning, Longstreet rejoined Jackson. For the first time since the taking of Manassas on the 27th of August, the soldiers received their rations. They had lived for several days on green maize and unripe apples, enduring their privations not only with patience, but with gaiety. Since the 25th of August, the day on which they left the Rappahannock, there had been nothing but marches, counter-marches, and incessant conflicts. They were utterly spent; many were shoeless, and their feet were so bruised by the rugged roads, that they could no longer drag themselves along. Few armies have had to endure more than that of Northern Virginia, during this short but brilliant campaign.

General Pope had been compelled to abandon his wounded on the night of the 30th. Next morning he begged a truce of Lee to enable him to carry off his wounded and bury his dead. Lee refused him the truce, but allowed him to fetch his wounded. The number was so great that, on the 3rd of September, there still remained nearly 3000 on the battle field.

The Confederates lost in this campaign, from the 25th of August to the 2nd of September, 1862, from the Rappahannock to the Potamac, 9112 men in all, including Generals Ewell, Tagliaferro, Field, and Trimble, dangerously wounded. The Federal losses were enormous, amounting to upwards of 30,000 men, there being 8 generals slain, and 7000 prisoners and 2000 wounded in the hands of the Confederates. 30 pieces of cannon, more than 20,000 rifles, &c., &c., many ensigns, and an immense quantity of war material and provisions remained at General Lee’s disposal, without reckoning what Jackson had destroyed at Manassas Junction. This was a brilliant end to a glorious campaign, worthy in every way of the illustrious soldier who had conducted it.

Lee had escaped all the dangers of the campaign, but on the 4th of September, as he was standing near his horse, it fell sideways, struck with sudden fright, throwing Lee down, and falling violently on him. One of the bones of his left hand was broken. The accident was not only painful, but hindered him for some time from mounting a horse again.

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