Back to Bull Run
Appalled and heartbroken by McClellan’s repeated failure to seize the initiative, Lincoln desperately cast about for a general to replace him. On July 11, Lincoln appointed Henry W. Halleck. It was not a good choice. Halleck dispatched a regrouped army into Virginia under John Pope, but Lee met him with more than half the Army of Northern Virginia. At Cedar Mountain on August 9, “Stonewall” Jackson drove Pope back toward Manassas junction, then Lee sent the “Stonewall Brigade” to flank Pope and outmarch him to Manassas. After destroying the Union supply depot, Jackson took a position near the old Bull Rijn battlefield. Pope lumbered into position to attack Jackson on August 29, just as Lee sent a wing of his army, under James Longstreet, against Pope’s left on August 30.
The action was devastating. Pope reeled back across the Potomac. At this point, the “invading” Union army had been effectively swept out of Virginia, and the Confederates went on the offensive. For the North, it was the low point of the war.