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2nd Manassas Battle Scenarios
After destroying the Union army’s main supply depot at Manassas Junction on August 27, Confederate General Stonewall Jackson withdrew to a position behind an unfinished railroad cut just north of the battlefield of First Manassas to await an expected Federal counterattack. On the evening of August 28, Jackson attacked Northern troops that were marching east in front of his position to join the rest of the Union army. For over two hours, Union and Confederate soldiers engaged in savage fighting in an open field at point-blank range. Each side endured heavy casualties. One unit of Northern soldiers - men from Wisconsin and Indiana, many of whom had never seen combat before - would earn the nickname of the “Iron Brigade” for their tenacity in this fight. Although neither side could really claim victory that night, the brief battle attracted the attention of Union General John Pope, who believed that Jackson was retreating in confusion.
Attack on the Railroad Cut:
Throughout the day of August 29, Union General John Pope hurled the soldiers of his army against Stonewall Jackson’s defensive position along the unfinished railroad cut known as the “Deep Cut” in a series of furious charges. Although each attack by the Northerners failed, they came close to breaking the Confederate lines.
Longstreet’s Flank Attack:
On the evening of August 29, General Robert E. Lee arrived with General James Longstreet and the remainder of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. Longstreet placed in men in a position to launch a surprise attack against the left flank of the Union army the following day. On the morning of August 30, Pope resumed his attack on Jackson’s lines. At one point, Southern soldiers running low on ammunition resorted to hurling rocks at their enemies to drive them back. With the Northerners unaware of his presence on their left, Longstreet ordered his men forward. His troops quickly annihilated a unit of colorfully uniformed New York Zouaves that stood in their path. Pope desperately sent the few troops available to slow the Confederate assault and buy time for the Union army to form a new defensive line on Henry House Hill. The Yankee army had been badly beaten, but not destroyed.