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Publisher's Summary

"A splendid army almost demoralized, millions of public property given up or destroyed, thousands of lives of our best men sacrificed for no purpose. I dare not trust myself to speak of this commander as I feel and believe. Suffice to say...that more insolence, superciliousness, ignorance, and pretentiousness were never combined in one man." (Union II Corps Commander Alpheus Williams)

The Second Battle of Bull Run (August 28-30, 1862) was one of the most decisive battles fought during the Civil War, and it was also one of the most unlikely. Less than three months before the battle, Joseph E. Johnston's Army of Northern Virginia had been pushed back nearly all the way to Richmond by George B. McClellan's Army of the Potomac, so close that Union soldiers could see the church steeples of the Confederate capital. And yet, at the end of Second Manassas, Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia found itself in the field unopposed about 20 miles away from the Union capital of Washington D.C. How could such a remarkable reversal of fortunes take place so quickly?

After Lee succeeded the wounded Johnston, he pushed McClellan's Army of the Potomac away from Richmond and back up the Peninsula in late June, only to then swing his army north to face a second Union army, John Pope's Army of Virginia.

©2012 Charles River Editors (P)2015 Charles River Editors

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