restricted access Chapter 3. Friday, August 29, 1862
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Chapter 3 Friday, August 29, 1862 Stop 2—Situation, Midmorning, August 29, 1862 On August 29, 1862, the fighting was driven by two major mistakes made by Major General John Pope. First, Pope believed that Jackson was attempting to retreat to the west and rejoin the rest of Lee’s army. Because of this he ordered a series of piecemeal attacks against Jackson’s position to hold him in place until he could deploy forces between Lee and Jackson. Second , despite increasing evidence, Pope would ignore the arrival of Longstreet’s Right Wing marching from the west along the Warrenton Turnpike. By early afternoon Longstreet would be in a position to directly attack Pope’s left or to maneuver and envelop his left flank. In the woods on the other side (east side) of the Groveton Road, on which you just drove, was the four-regiment brigade of Brigadier General Robert H. Milroy. Milroy’s Independent Brigade was attached to Major General Franz Sigel’s First Corps, Army of Virginia. During the early morning hours, Sigel’s corps deployed into the area north and south of the Warrenton Turnpike. Milroy’s brigade was the center of Sigel’s position. In the area of the Warrenton Turnpike’s intersection with the GrovetonSudley Road, 880 yards (0.5 mile) south of you, was deployed Brigadier General Robert C. Schenck’s two-brigade division. South of the Warrenton Turnpike in the vicinity of Lewis Lane, a southern extension of the Groveton-Sudley Road, Brigadier General John F. Reynolds’s three-brigade division, attached to Major General Irvin McDowell’s Third Corps, Army of Virginia Friday, August 29, 1862 44 was marching west. Farther south, two divisions of Major General Fitz John Porter’s Fifth Corps, Army of the Potomac and Brigadier General Rufus King’s division were marching west and northwest. The right flank of Sigel’s corps was Brigadier General Carl Schurz’s two-brigade division. Schurz’s division was deployed astride the Sudley Road 1,600 yards (0.9 mile) east of your location. The Groveton-Sudley Road continues north from your location . In 900 yards it crosses the center of Jackson’s defensive position. Jackson’s three divisions were positioned along the northeast-to-southwest higher ground that is north of your location. Much of this ground was wooded, which offered Jackson’s troops concealment. Along this higher ground was the uncompleted railroad grade of the Independent Line of the Manassas Gap Railroad. For most of its length, in an attempt to level the grade, there were built up berms and cuts through the terrain that provided protection to whomever occupied the railroad grade. On the higher ground and to the left of the road, across the open space, you can see an area called “The Dump” (a lower area where rocks and debris from the construction had been deposited). In this area the flanks of two of Jackson’s divisions almost came together. It was a weak area in Jackson’s defensive position. The center of Jackson’s position was occupied by Ewell’s Division , commanded by Brigadier General Alexander R. Lawton after Ewell was wounded the day before. Lawton had deployed two of his brigades where the Groveton-Sudley Road crossed the unfinished railroad grade. Lawton’s Brigade, commanded by Colonel Marcellus Douglass, was astride the road. This was Lawton’s left brigade. To that brigade’s right (left as you view it) was Brigadier General Isaac R. Trimble’s brigade. Lawton’s other two brigades, Early’s and Hays’s (Forno’s), were positioned farther southwest near the Warrenton Turnpike so as to protect Jackson’s right flank until the arrival of Longstreet’s Right Wing. To Lawton’s left (your right) was Major General Ambrose P. Hill’s six-brigade division. Hill’s position went northeast along the higher ground for 1,800 yards to the vicinity Friday, August 29, 1862 46 of the north-south Sudley Road. Farther northeast, protecting Hill’s (and Jackson’s) left flank, was Brigadier General Fitzhugh Lee’s cavalry brigade. To Lawton’s right (your left) was Taliaferro’s four-brigade division, commanded by Brigadier General William E. Starke, after Taliaferro was wounded the day before. Starke’s position went southwest for 1,200 yards. On his right flank Starke established a powerful eighteen-gun battery artillery position under Major Lindsay M. Shumaker. The right of this artillery was pushed forward so as to provide the capability for oblique fire...