The Commanders of Manassas

The Commanders of Manassas

On the rolling fields of Manassas the battle unfolds before them. From the crest of Stuart's Hill, Generals Robert E. Lee, James Longsteet and Stonewall Jackson watch as Lee's Confederates engaged General John Pope's Federal troops in a distant swirl of dust and smoke. Jackson had opened the battle the day before, stunning Pope's troops with a mighty blow at nearby Grovetown. Now Pope has launched the first in a series of uncoordinated Federal assaults that yielded his army nothing but bloody losses.

On August 29th, Lee and Longstreet joined forces with Jackson at Manassas, watching as battle again engulfed the country side below, where the war's first major land battle had occurred one summer earlier. Now, on the old battleground, Lee's magnificent maneuvering lured General Pope's Federal forces into a tactical contest that Lee would win decisively.

The Battle of Second Manassas would prove to be one of Lees' most masterful victories, stalling the Northern advance on Richmond and clearing the way for Lee's 1862 Northern Invasion. Southern triumph and Northern failure would again cloak the northern Virginia countryside - and Lee, Jackson and Longstreet would be remembered as the Commanders of Manassas.

By: Mort Kunstler

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