Wednesday, August 31, 2016

HISTORY AS IT HAPPENED -- News Trickles In About Second Battle of Manassas, Va.

[The Richmond Daily Dispatch, Sept. 1, 1862]

Two rugged Confederates
(6th Plate Ambrotype, M.D. Joones Collection)
A member of Congress, who came down on the Central train yesterday afternoon says that the Baltimore Sun, of Thursday, had been received in the Valley, in which it was stated that our forces had captured at Manassas, on Wednesday, five trains of cars loaded with provisions, and that later on the same day five other trains, on board of which were some two thousand Yankee troops. This affair was commented upon by the Yankee press as very discreditable to their commander, and some harsh reflections as to his fitness for his position indulged.
     Our own account of this affair reports that a portion of our cavalry had advanced on the Orange and Alexandria railroad to Bull Run bridge, about five miles beyond Manassas, and having burned the bridge continued their advance to Dye's Station, where they concealed themselves, and arrested the approach of a number of trains of which they had previously received information. After the trains passed the concealed position of the cavalry the track was torn up behind them. When they reached the bridge, the officers on board finding that something was wrong, determined to return to Alexandria, but before backing far they found the track torn up, and their retreat effectually intercepted.--The cavalry then approached in superior numbers, and the enemy surrendered without firing a gun. The number of prisoners reported captured agrees with the statement of the Sun, being estimated at 2,000, together with all the officers, regimental and company, and a quantity of arms and ammunition which were being conveyed to Gen. Pope. After this brilliant affair the cavalry returned to Manassas, without sustaining the loss of a single man.
     Some fifteen hundred to two thousand Yankee prisoners were yesterday between Rapidan Station and Gordonsville, and may be expected in this city to-day. It is supposed that these are the prisoners captured at Dye's Station by our cavalry.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016


[Excerpted from the Richmond Daily Dispatch, Aug. 29, 1862]
From the Rappahannock — Occupation of Manassas Junction by our advance.
     The news from the line of the Rappahannock, though not so full and complete as we could desire, is nevertheless interesting and important. It is understood as perfectly reliable that the advance of our forces have reached Manassas Junction, where they captured some eight or ten heavy guns and an immense quantity of valuable stores.
Brig. Gen. Wm. E. Starke
2nd La. Brigade
Stonewall Jackson's Corps
     The portion of the Yankee army under Pope was as Warrenton on Wednesday, and it is stated that its retreat in the direction of Alexandria is entirely intercepted. The only route by which he could reach that point is by way of the Junction, which is now in possession of our forces. It is not probable that he will succeed in forcing his way back to the Potomac by taking that route. If this statement be correct — and we have no reason to question its authenticity — the only road for his escape would seem to be by way of the Plains to Middleburg, and from thence to Leesburg, in Loudoun county.
     Burnside, with his army corps, was at Fredericksburg yesterday, and was reinforced by two divisions of the army lately under McClellan, but will never reach Pope.
     We have met with so few obstructions in their advance. In Government circles there seems to be not the slightest apprehension for the safety of our army. Indeed, we have reason to believe that the most lively hopes are entertained of a triumph which will eclipse any that has been vouchsafed to our arms since the war commenced. The intelligence that the enemy has been reinforced has created no uneasiness, and not the remotest idea of a reverse is entertained.
     To gum up the whole, we are warranted in the conclusion that the enemy's forces are so situated that a further retreat would be decidedly more disastrous than the acceptance of battle, and that in either event he is inevitably subjected to reverse from which it will be no easy matter to recover.