2nd Battle of Bull Run — August 28 - 30, 1862

KIA - GEORGE W. ELLISON. He enlisted 12 Jul 1861 at age 19 as a Private in Company H, 6th Infantry. Mustered in 7 Dec 1861 — he was Killed in Action on  30 Aug 1862.  Born about 1842 to Alexander and Abigail Ellison of Newmarket,  he is listed in the 1860 census as living with his parents, his sisters Eliza and Martha and his 8 year old brother Charles.

 KIA –JACOB H. QUIMBY -enlisted 8 Oct 1861 at age 24 as a Private in Company C, 6th Infantry. Mustered in 27 Nov 1861 — he was Killed in Action on 29 Aug 1862.  He was born in 1836 to Fred and Mary Quimby in South York, Me.  He resided in and worked in Newmarket at the time of his enlistment.

MIA - CHARLES C. SAUNDERS - enlisted 26 Apr 1861 at age 20 for 3 months. Not mustered in.  Re-enlisted 10 May 1861 for 3 years as a Private in Company D, 2nd Infantry.  He was born in Northwood, and a resident of Newmarket.  He was wounded and reported missing 29 Aug 1862 at Battle of Bull Run.  Heirs paid to Aug 29, 1862.   No further record. (A)

MIA  - TIMOTHY CASWELL - enlisted 10 Oct 1861 at age 35 as a Private in Company C, 6th Infantry, he mustered in Nov 1861.  He was severely wounded and reported as Missing In Action 29 Aug 1862.  His status changed from MIA when he received a Disability Discharge 30 Dec 1863 at Portsmouth Grove, RI.  He was born in Northwood, resided in and credited to Newmarket.  He later, although still disabled, enlisted in Company I, 13th Regiment US Veteran Reserve Corps on 17 Nov 1865. (credited to Gardner, MA).

POW       JOSEPH E. CHAPMAN  - enlisted 9 May 1861 at age 28 as a Private in Company B, 2nd Infantry.  He mustered in 1 Jun 1861.  Wounded in service at Bull Run (2nd), VA; captured 2 Sep 1862 and later paroled.  Discharged with wounds 6 Dec 1862.  Born and residing in Newmarket, he married Martha A. Furber in Lee 27 Oct 1860.  He filed for a disability pension 12 Dec 1862.  He died 29 Nov 1868; and his widow filed for a widow’s pension in Feb 1869.

Wounded, WILLARD W. CASWELL - enlisted 19 Oct 1861 at age 32 as a Private in Company C., 6th Infantry.  Mustered in 27 Nov 1861.   He was wounded during Battle on 20 Aug 1862; however not enough to discharge him from service.  He was later  so severely wounded during a mine explosion 30 Aug 1864 at Petersburg, VA.  That he mustered out 28 Nov 1864 on a disability discharge. He was born in Northwood 31 Aug 1829, resided in and credited to Newmarket.  He died 12 Sep 1911.

Wounded, FRANKLIN VALLEY - enlisted 7 Dec 1861 at age 19 as a Private in Company H, 6th Infantry.  Mustered in 7 Dec 1861.  Severely wounded 29 Aug 1862  causing him to receive a disability discharge on 11 Nov 1863 at Louisville, KY.  He was born in Dover, and resided in Newmarket.

The Second Battle of Bull Run ( Manassas, VA) August 1862.

(photo: Illustration of the Battle from Harper’s Weekly)

The Second Battle of Bull Run proved to be the deciding battle in the Civil War campaign waged between Union and Confederate armies in northern Virginia in 1862.  As a large Union force commanded by John Pope waited for George McClellan’s Army of the Potomac in anticipation of a combined offensive, Confederate General Robert E. Lee decided to strike first. Lee sent half of his Army of Northern Virginia to hit the Federal supply base at Manassas.  Led by Stonewall Jackson, hero of the First Battle of Bull Run (Manassas) 13 months earlier, the rebels seized supplies and burned the depot, then established hidden positions in the woods.  On August 29, Pope’s Federals clashed with Jackson’s men, who held their ground with heavy losses on both sides.  The following day, after the rest of Lee’s army arrived, 28,000 rebels led by James Longstreet launched a counterattack, forcing Pope to withdraw his battered army toward Washington that night.

Impact of Second Bull Run (Manassas)

A wave of despair rolled over the North with news of the battle’s outcome, and morale in the army sank to new depths.  Accusations flew among Pope, McClellan, McDowell and Porter about who was to blame for the defeat.  His cabinet (notably Stanton) pushed for McClellan’s dismissal, and Lincoln himself had harsh views of the general’s conduct; but as McClellan had the unwavering support of the soldiers, and Lincoln needed a speedy reorganization of Union forces, he left McClellan in command.

Despite heavy Confederate casualties (9,000), the Battle of Second Bull Run (known as Second Manassas in the South) was a decisive victory for the rebels, as Lee had managed a strategic offensive against an enemy force (Pope and McClellan’s) twice the size of his own. Pressing his advantage after the northern Virginia campaign, Lee launched an invasion of the North, crossing the Potomac into western Maryland on September 5.  McClellan united his army with the Army of Virginia and marched northwest to block Lee’s invasion. On September 17, the two generals would clash in the Battle of Antietam, the costliest single day of fighting in American history.

The Ordeal of Retreat

The following account from the Chapter “The Retreat from Bull Run” is told by Martin A. Hayes, Company I, 2ndNH Infantry in his book: “The History of the 2nd NH Volunteer Regiment, Its camps, marches and battles, printer Charles F. Livingston, Manchester, NH, 1865.

Neither pen nor tongue cannot describe the retreat from Bull Run… The wounded men by the roadside begged piteously for aid to escape from the rebels.  A few were placed in empty wagons and ambulances, or upon caissons and gun carriages, but the most of them were left to their fate by their terror-stricken comrades. “The cavalry are coming,” was the cry which would revive the energies of the drooping. “The Black Horse Cavalry,” numbering, perhaps, a hundred men, was the bugbear of the flight.

A history of the retreat can never be written, only as compiled from individual experience, so complete the disorganization in the ranks of the Union Army. The writer speaks only for himself: premising that his own experience tallies with that of thousands of his comrades on that memorable day.

During the entire day we had suffered most intensely from thirst, with scarcely a drop of water to alleviate it. So when I came to a pool of stagnant water a few rods from the point where we entered the main road to Centreville, I did not scruple to drain two dipperfulls of the filthy fluid, or rather semi-fluid, for the passage of horses and wagons through it had reduced it to this state.

I had fastened my dipper to my haversack, and was about to enter the main road, when the roar of a gun and the howling of a shell just overhead greeted my ears. The crowd paused, bewildered.  The next instant, a shower of grape came humming into their midst, when they made a simultaneous rush from the road, over fences and into the woods and fields. ” Halt ! boys, halt !—don’t run !—a hundred men can take the battery!” shouted Lt. James H. Platt, who was close by at the time.  But exhortations had no effect, and we took to the fields with the rest.

After firing a few shots the battery ceased its play, and the men began to swarm back into the road.  I reached Cub Run bridge and found it blocked with disabled baggage wagons.  While I stood debating as to the best means of crossing, General Burnside came riding down the hill, leaped his horse from the steep bank and forded the creek.  I was not particular about following in the steps of illustrious greatness, especially when they led through five feet of water, so I took the less dignified means of attaining the same end, and crawled under the wagons.  I had just straightened myself after crossing the bridge, when the battery again opened.  The first shot whistled past the wagons and went bowling down the road, tearing the life from many a poor fellow who was perhaps at that moment congratulating himself on having at last safely escaped the horrors of the day. Again there was a grand exodus from the road, which was entirely abandoned until the battery had once more ceased working.

Arriving at the camp which we had left so gaily the morning before…our feet were blistered and bleeding, and every individual bone and muscle of our bodies ached from fatigue; we threw ourselves upon the ground with an inexpressible feeling of relief.  Men came straggling in every few minutes.  Among them was one man from company A, whose arm had been shattered in the affair at Cub Run. Amputation was necessary, and it was performed by the flickering light of a campfire, the heroic soldier uttering hardly a moan during the terrible operation.”

For several days the men came straggling into camp, and it was some time before any definite estimate of our loss could be formed. From nearly two hundred it gradually dwindled down until it was fixed at seven killed, fifty-six wounded, and forty-six prisoners. Many of those reported wounded could have lived but a few hours, while one or two reported killed came back to us as from the grave, with thirteen months’ experience in rebel prisons to tell to their wondering comrades.


The losses of the Union army from August 25th to the 30th, including the engagements at Bristoe Station, Gainesville, Groveton and Bull Run (2), amounted to 1,747 killed, 8,452 wounded and 4,263 captured or missing.  Lee claims to have captured 7,000 prisoners and 30 pieces of artillery.

The facts regarding the Confederate loss are somewhat conflicting. Taking the figures of the different division and brigade commanders the Confederate toll is estimated at 1,553 killed, 7,812 wounded and 109 missing. The probabilities are that the losses on both sides have been understated.


Source: The Union Army, vol. 5, p. 187; and www.history.com/topics/battle-of-second-bull-run.