August 1862

The respite after the Seven Days’ campaign was coming to an end. The Federals had two major armies in Virginia: one on the Peninsula between the York and James Rivers, and another in northern Virginia. After stopping the threat on the Peninsula, Robert E. Lee was shifting his Confederate army to the north to stop the new threat.

Northern Virginia and the Peninsula

1 Aug – Federal Major General John Pope began probing southward from northern Virginia while the Lincoln administration prepared to end the Peninsula campaign.

The Growing Clamor for Black Military Recruitment

4 Aug – President Abraham Lincoln ordered the drafting of militia into the Federal armies but remained reluctant to allow blacks to serve as combatants.

The Battle of Baton Rouge

5 Aug – Confederate forces tried to retake the Louisiana capital while waiting for help from the ironclad C.S.S. Arkansas.

Confederates Target Kentucky

6 Aug – General Braxton Bragg’s Confederate Army of Mississippi arrived at Chattanooga, and the Federal high command expressed disappointment with Major General Don Carlos Buell’s perceived lack of action.

Shifting Focus in Virginia

8 Aug – Major General George B. McClellan strongly protested General-in-Chief Henry W. Halleck’s order to leave the Peninsula, and Confederates moved north to take on the new Federal Army of Virginia.

The Battle of Cedar Mountain

9 Aug – Major General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s Confederates advanced toward Culpeper Court House and confronted a Federal force deployed to stop them at Cedar Mountain.

Northern Virginia: Lee Turns to Confront Pope

10 Aug – Major General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s Confederates fell back after the Battle of Cedar Mountain as General Robert E. Lee prepared to move the rest of his Confederate army up to meet Jackson.

The Peninsula Campaign Ends

13 Aug – Major General George B. McClellan tried one last time to persuade the Federal high command to cancel the order to pull the Army of the Potomac off the Virginia Peninsula.

Slave Emancipation or Slave Colonization

14 Aug – President Abraham Lincoln hosted a conference of black men at the White House, where he reiterated his desire that they voluntarily leave America.

Northern Virginia: Lee Tries Trapping Pope

15 Aug – General Robert E. Lee hoped to attack the Federals while they were between two rivers, but Major General John Pope learned of Lee’s plan.

The Sioux Uprising of 1862

17 Aug – In southwestern Minnesota, Dakota Sioux Native Americans rebelled against local settlers and Federal authorities in what became known as the Sioux Uprising, or the Dakota War, of 1862.

The Prayer of Twenty Millions

20 Aug – Horace Greeley published an editorial in his influential New York Tribune that challenged President Abraham Lincoln to enforce the newly enacted laws against slavery to preserve the Union. This prompted a rare public response from the president.

Federals Branded War Criminals

21 Aug – President Jefferson Davis issued an executive order authorizing the execution of Federal officers caught using slaves for military purposes against the Confederacy.

Northern Virginia: Stuart Raids Pope’s Headquarters

22 Aug – Confederate Major General Jeb Stuart sought revenge for the recent Federal ambush and exacted even more than he intended.

Northern Virginia: Lee Hurries to Attack

23 Aug – Major General John Pope missed an opportunity to claim an easy victory, and General Robert E. Lee hurried to form a plan of attack before the Federal numbers became too overwhelming.

Northern Virginia: Lee Divides His Army

25 Aug – Confederates under Major General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson approached the Federal supply base at Manassas Junction, as Federal Major General John Pope remained unaware of the enemy’s objective.

The Second Bull Run Campaign: Manassas Junction

27 Aug – Confederate troops under Major General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson descended on one of the largest Federal supply depots in Virginia, between the rear of Major General John Pope’s Federal Army of Virginia and Washington, D.C.

The Battle of Second Bull Run: Groveton

28 Aug – Major General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson’s Confederates attacked a portion of Major General John Pope’s Federal Army of Virginia northwest of Manassas, sparking a major battle.

The Battle of Second Bull Run: Jackson

29 Aug – Federals under Major General John Pope continued the fight with Major General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson from the previous day, unaware that General Robert E. Lee had united Jackson with Major General James Longstreet’s Confederates near the old Bull Run battlefield.

Confederates Poised to Attack in Kentucky

29 Aug – One Confederate army began moving north toward Kentucky, while another was already in Kentucky and preparing for battle.

The Battle of Second Bull Run: Longstreet

30 Aug – The right wing of General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia ripped into Major General John Pope’s Federals and nearly destroyed his Army of Virginia.

The Battle of Richmond

30 Aug – Major General Edmund Kirby Smith’s Confederate army confronted a small Federal force in the first full-scale battle during Smith’s incursion into Kentucky.

The Battle of Second Bull Run: Pope’s Retreat

31 Aug – The Second Bull Run campaign ended with a two-day fight in which the Confederates proved unable to destroy Major General John Pope’s retreating Army of Virginia.

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Last Update: 9/9/2017

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