Army of Northern Virginia: February to September 1862

Appearance of Robert E. Lee

How could two big battles be fought at the same place?

Most of us are more familiar with the “Battle of Bull Run” than with the “Second Battle of Bull Run.” The Confederates, typically, labeled them “First Manassas” and “Second Manassas.” All of the names and titles aside, however, the stark and intriguing fact is that the two big contests were fought on almost precisely the same ground.

Robert E. Lee brought about this battle. He brought the Army of Northern Virginia from Richmond and wished to strike General John Pope before General McClellan could bring the Army of the Potomac over to join him. As it turned out, McClellan’s anger over having been removed from top command played right into Lee’s hands.


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