Monday, September 3, 2012

150-years-ago -- Contemporary News Report on the Second Battle of Manassas

The Richmond Daily Dispatch
September 2, 1862
Corporal Samuel H. Overton of A Company,
 44th Virginia Infantry Regiment
and A Company, 20th Battalion Virginia
 Heavy Artillery Regiment in uniform
 and kepi with bayoneted musket.
(Library of Congress/Liljenquist
Family Collection)

Battle of Manassas.

Triumph of our forces over the combined armies of McClellan and Pope.
           Our information is such as to give encouragement to the hope that the sacred soil of Virginia will soon be rescued from the hands land divested of the polluting tread, of the Yankee invader. The great battle of Saturday last, fought on the memorable and classic ground of Manassas, resulted in the overthrow of the combined armies of the Federal Government, with a loss that is perhaps unequalled in the annals of the present war. We write without particulars; but the dispatches received by the President, and now given to the public, warrants the belief that our triumph is complete and glorious, and that the Confederate army is probably to-day within hauling distance of the Federal capital.
           The first dispatch received yesterday morning represented that the enemy had made several attempts to break through our lines, which intercepted their retreat towards Alexandria, but were repulsed each time with heavy loss. No mention of the casualties on our side was made, except that Gens. Ewell and Trimble were badly wounded, but not mortally, and Gen. Taliaferro slightly wounded.--A large number of prisoners were said to have been captured by our troops. This fight occurred in the vicinity of Manassas Plains. The indefinite character of this dispatch created some anxiety, and although it was stated that the enemy had been repulsed, still some uneasiness was felt, and some apprehensions entertained, for the safety of the gallant corps that, to the public, seemed to be between the two armies of the foe. These apprehensions were dispelled, however, by the later and more authentic intelligence of the day.
             Late in the afternoon, a dispatch was received by the President from Gen. Lee, conveying information which left no grounds to question the glorious success of our arms. This dispatch stated that on Thursday Gen. Jackson's corps repulsed Gen. Pope; Gen. Longstreet repulsed McClellan on Friday, and that on Saturday Gen. Lee attacked the combined forces of McClellan and Pope, utterly routing them with immense loss. Our army, it was stated, was still pursuing them, but in what direction we did not learn. If it be true, as previously represented, that our forces had gained the rear of the enemy, and repulsed their attempts to recover their intercepted lines we do not understand by what route they are now endeavoring to effect their escape. Large supplies of valuable stores were captured, some of which were destroyed by our troops. Our loss is represented to be heavy in valuable officers, though no names are given.

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