‘The Whole Army Will Move Direct On the Enemy’ – Sherman Plans to Attack Longstreet

December 4, 1863 (Friday) James Longstreet’s little army had caught wind that Federal troops under William Tecumseh Sherman were streaming toward Knoxville to break the siege. Not desiring such a battle, General Longstreet quickly packed up his force and retreated northeast. Even by the dawn, the besieged Union troops under Ambrose Burnside still believed thatRead More

McClellan Reorganizes While Pope Exiled to the West

September 6, 1862 (Saturday) With the Rebels crossing the Potomac about twenty miles upstream from Washington, even General George B. McClellan knew something had to be done. With General-in-Chief Henry Halleck urging him to move as quickly as possible, McClellan did what came naturally to him: organizing. The Armies of the Potomac and Virginia hadRead More

Two Union Armies Combined; Pope Relieved; Kentucky in Another Panic!

September 5, 1862 (Friday) In Washington, as the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia was crossing the Potomac River north of the city, General John Pope, commander of the Union Army of Virginia, was ready to follow. The only problem was that John Pope had not a soldier to command. Following the defeat at Second Manassas,Read More

McClellan is in Command Again! Three Cheers!

September 2, 1862 (Tuesday) While John Pope’s Union Army of Virginia beat a hasty path back into the defenses of Washington, the Federal capital was abuzz with rumors – some apparently spread by Pope’s rival, George McClellan. As McClellan’s Army of the Potomac was returning from their ill-fated tramp up and back down the VirginiaRead More

A Flank March, a Deluge and a Battle Almost Nobody Wanted

September 1, 1862 (Monday) General Robert E. Lee’s plan prior to the battle of Second Bull Run involved James Longstreet’s wing holding John Pope’s Union Army in place, while Stonewall Jackson’s wing swung around the Federal right flank. It was a good plan, fooling Pope and leading to a battlefield victory. But would it workRead More

Confusion and Denial Lead to Defeat at Second Manassas

August 30, 1862 (Saturday) General Robert E. Lee’s line at Manassas was silent and waiting. Over the night, he had contemplated an attack by James Longstreet’s men on the right, but decided to let his adversary, General John Pope, commanding the Union Army of Virginia, to make the first move. Like Lee, Pope was inactive,Read More

The Federal Confusion and Denial at Second Manassas

August 29, 1862 (Friday) Union General John Pope had misjudged his enemy. His objective was to keep two Confederate forces under Generals James Longstreet and Stonewall Jackson from combining. While Longstreet was ten miles to the west, Jackson was to Pope’s front, held up in an abandoned railroad cut upon the old Bull Run battlefield.Read More

The Armies Return to Bull Run; Jackson Waits as Pope Blunders

August 28, 1862 (Thursday) The sun rose upon utter confusion. The Union Army of Virginia, much like their commander, General John Pope, had been sluggish to react. A fresh corps under General Fitz John Porter was late in stepping off for Bristoe Station, scene of the previous day’s skirmish. Farther west, General Franz Sigel delayedRead More

Yankee Ineptitude Saves the Rebel Army from Destruction

August 27, 1862 (Wednesday) Stonewall Jackson was in trouble. He had swung around General John Pope’s right flank and hit both Bristoe Station and Manassas Junction, capturing troops, slaves, supplies, and artillery. With a force of 25,000, plus cavalry under Jeb Stuart, this was no mere raiding party – it was half of General Lee’sRead More

Jackson Sacks the Railroad While Pope Does Nothing

August 26, 1862 (Tuesday) General John Pope, commander of the Union Army of Virginia, wasn’t going to move. He knew that over 20,000 Confederates under Stonewall Jackson had left his front and moved around his right flank and rear towards Salem along the Manassas Gap Railroad. And still, he had no plans to leave theRead More