2nd Bull Run (Manassas), Virginia (August 29-30 1862)
While the first Battle of Bull Run will go down in history as one of the Civil War’s most famous battles, the 2nd Battle of Bull Run was much larger, and in the end much more important. It was also a massive Confederate Victory.
Many historians posit that if the South was ever going to win the Civil War, the beginning of that victory might have happened at the 2nd Battle of Manassas as it is called. The fight from the Union in this battle was very poor.
2nd Battle of Bull Run Statistics
Total Troops: North – 62,000 South – 50,000
Casualties: North – 10,000 South – 8,300 Total – 18,300
The Union, led by Major General John Pope, consistently attacked a better fortified Confederate force led by Robert E Lee and Thomas J ‘Stonewall’ Jackson. They were repeated rebuffed and outflanked, causing them to retreat to Centreville, Virginia
The fall out was that Pope was relieved of command, which led to the promotion of George McClellan. This battle was the precursor the Antietam, which is another reason why Antietam was so important in terms of the Union Victory. If the South had managed to pull out another tactical victory at Antietam, the momentum may have become much harder to overcome for the North.
Instead, the 2nd Battle of Bull Run is a high point for Lee and his army, and because of the loss at Antietam and Lee’s retreat, the Maryland Campaign and Lee’s invasion of the North was a failure.
While this wouldn’t be Lee’s last attempt to invade the North, the set back would demoralize Lee’s army for a time, and would refocus his efforts further South. It wouldn’t be until 1863 and 1864 that he would try again.