2nd Bull Run



Second Bull Run – The Union had its first and most public defeat on the plain near the Henry House.  It was here that Con. Gen. Jackson became known as Stonewall, a remark probably intended to indicate his unwillingness to join other Confederate forces in a charge, but that ultimately made tactical sense to the legendary General.


Image of the Jackson Monument looking towards the Henry House.  Jackson at 1st Bull Run used the ground to his advantage.  The Monument on the right is the first Union Civil War Monument ever put on a battlefied.  It was still under construction when the two opponents returned to Bull Run in the latter part of August 1862.

Another picture of the Henry House.  The 1st Bull Run monument is visible in the shadow in front of the house.  Visitors looking for information on 2nd Bull Run may find that the visitor’s center is heavily focused on the first battle there.  So you might want to consult Bret’s History in conjunction with Hennesy’s books on the battle.  Please keep in mind, however, that some details are missing from Hennesy’s work in that they were recorded in German

Ok – even this Yank will concede that this is an awesome monument to a General who was both brillant and a bit eccentric. 

Along the banks of Young’s Branch – across from the Stone House – our ancestors performed picket duty the night before the battle.  Through the trees is the Henry House on the ridge top.



Thanks to Bret I have proof that I was here.  This is the marker at the Northern portion of the battlefield near the Sudley Church.  Our ancestors marched up to the point to the left of the road.  They then cross the road and marched through the field in the background of the picture on the left.  Accounts note that they crossed through a field and then through a small stream and gathering of trees.  Through the field in the foreground they were exposed to Confederate fire from Gen. Hill’s men.




The path to Bret’s right is the unfinished railroad.  During the battle this was all a cornfield without the trees that are now present in these pictures.  The 74th, put forward a push that took them over this raised railroad bed and up a slight knoll.  Under intense fire from all around them, the men of the regiment reached where Bret is standing in the bottom picture – where for nearly a half an hour – they waited for reinforcements from General Kearny to carry the attack forward.  General Kearny’s troops were late in coming and the 74th had to fall back as a result of Con. Gen. Hill sending more rebs into the fray at this point.


General Schurz eventually had his whole division pulled back to Dogan ridge where it regrouped following the bloody afternoon spent near Sudley Church on the 28th of August 1861.  Little peace would come to the men, however, as the fighting continued during the evening off to their left.  While not directly engaged, the sounds of gun and artillery fire made a restful night sleep difficult to obtain.

The Stone House – below Matthew’s Hill served as both a hospital and it is believe that parts of the 74th spent the night not far from here.


During the course of the second day of battle, the 74th was assigned to a location near the Henry House.  The regimental baggage train with the materials of commander, quarter master and other officers was here on the hill.  When the advance of the Confederates came on the 29th of August, the 74th found itself in the difficult task of being assigned with the 61st Ohio to guard the Union’s retreat across the bridge at Bull Run.  Leaving their baggage train at the Henry House, and thus leaving the original enlistment books, records, and the like, the 74th and the 61st “leaped frogged” each other back to the Bull Run Bridge. 



Bridge as it is today – having been moved to allow for the highway. 


The bridge as it looked during the retreat, from a sign of the NPS at the bridge.  Our ancestors worked diligently at tearing apart the bridge with bare hands and bayonets.  The center planks were removed and a great effort was made to remove the edges of the bridgeworks where the planks had rested, thereby preventing the Confederate forces from easily spanning the bridge. 


The Union Army, under the leadership of Gen. Pope, retreated and soon General Pope would be replaced with the “army’s favorite” General McClellan.  In the reorg that took place, the 1st Corps of Pope’s army became the 11th Corp of the Army of the Potomac.  The loyalty of many of the brigade and division commanders of the former First Corps to Pope would be a source of tension that would continually surface in the newly reorganized army.  General Pope, for all of his flaws, respected the various ethnic leaders under his command – subsequent Army leaders and their loyal staff would not give those commanders that same level of respect.