Battle of Chantilly, 1 September 1862

The last fighting after the Second Battle of Bull Run. Pope’s defeated Federal army had managed to get across the Bull Run river at the end of the battle (29-30 August), and were retreating towards Washington. During 31 August Lee sent Stonewall Jackson to outflank their position at Centreville. Pope spotted this move in plenty of time to set up a strong defensive line, a sign that his army was in better condition than the one beaten at First Bull Run the previous year.

Jackson’s attack was launched late on 1 September in a severe rainstorm. It was easily repulsed – Jackson’s men withdrew in some confusion – but still cost the lives of two Federal Generals – Philip Kearny, killed when he rode in the Confederate lines in the dark, and Isaac I. Stevens. Even a minor skirmish could be deadly.

Chantilly marked the end of the Second Bull Run campaign. Lee turned his attentions north towards Maryland, while in Washington Pope was soon removed from command and replaced by George McClellan. The soldier’s reaction to his presence on the roads outside Washington had proved that he still had the loyalty of the army, and in the crisis that was about to break, he was the right man to take command.

The Second Bull Run Campaign: July-August 1862, David G. Martin. A well illustrated look at the entire Second Bull Run campaign, a key turning point in the American Civil War which saw the south go from the verge of defeat around Richmond to triumph at Manassas, and the campaign that saw Robert E. Lee first justify his great reputation.
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (August 2007), Battle of Chantilly, 1 September 1862 ,

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