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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: October 2019

7 - The Second Bull Run Campaign

from Part I - Major Battles and Campaigns

Summary

Few campaigns and battles of the Civil War better reflect the complicated relationship between the military and the political, war policy and practice, and the incessant quest to find balance between them all than Second Manassas. The Second Manassas campaign of the late summer of 1862 resulted in the largest battle fought on North American soil until that time. It came at a time of growing urgency – even anxiety – for the Confederacy. The still-new commander of the Army of Northern Virginia, Robert E. Lee (just thirteen weeks in command at the time of the battle), took to the field seeking an antidote to Confederate defeats elsewhere in the South and the turgid warfare of earthworks and siege fortifications that had characterized campaigns in both Virginia and the western theater that summer.