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2nd Battle of Bull Run
New York Times Articles

The following article is transcribed from the New York Times, dated August 31, 1862 on page 4:


The Second Battle of Bull Run

          In the closing week of June last, the socalled Confederate President, Jeff. Davis, from his chamber at Richmond, listened to the thunder of the cannon of hostile armies battling before his capital. In the closing week of August, President Lincoln, from the White House, heard the deep peals of the artillery of contending hosts which, having now changed location, are struggling for supremacy before the National Capital. The geographical change of position does not indicate that Richmond is any the less likely to fall, or that Washington is any the less safe now than it was then. In truth, the fact rather is, that if we have any one. General with sense and pluck enough to take advantage of palpable opportunity the rebels have given us, we may be said to he much nearer to Richmond now when the battlefield for its possession is a hundred miles away from, it than we were two months ago, when our fevered and shrunken army had shoveled its way up to within seven miles of its outskirts.

          The accounts of the sanguinary battles of the last four days fought in the rear of Gen. Pope's army, have been very meagre and contradictory. They have been confined to Pope's two very brief official reports, dated the 28th and 30th, and to such information as could be picked up by an active corps of correspondents stationed at Washington, Alexandria, and other pints outside of the army lines from which they have not yet been expelled. many of these statements are rumors brought by fugitive soldiers, fleeing Unionists, women and Negroes, and from their evident want of truthfulness, many of those which we have received have been excluded from our columns. Gen. Pope's official dispatches give us no details. Of the affair near Kettle Run on Wednesday, (the first day of fighting in his rear,) all he says is that Hooker's division "routed the enemy completely, killing and wounding three hundred, capturing camps and baggage and many stand of arms." Of the battle of Thursday, six miles west of Centreville, which we otherwise know was a very hardly contested field, he says: "A severe fight took place which has terminated by darkness. The enemy was driven back at all points, and thus the affair rests." And he also gives forth that on that day he "captured 1,000 prisoner, many arms, and one piece of artillery."

          Of Friday's battle, which was fought on the identical battlefield of Bull Run, he reports: "We fought a terrific battle with the combined forces of the enemy, which lasted with continuous fury from daylight until after dark, by which time the enemy was driven from the field, which we now occupy." And he further states our loss on that day as being "not less than eight thousand men, killed and wounded," while the enemy's loss he puts down as at least "two to our one." Of the battle of yesterday we have as yet nothing official; but the telegraph from Washington reports that one was actually raging, and that the cannonading could be heard in that city. As Fitz John Porter's corps was expected to come up from Manassas and join Pope yesterday morning, and as other National columns yesterday effected a junction with him, and as, consequently, his force of Saturday was most likely far greater than it had been on any previous day, the probability is that the hardest of the series of engagements thus far may have been fought yesterday.

          Thus, from day to day, have the battles grown in magnitude -- from Wednesday, when there was but a single division of our army engaged, and our loss is reported as but 300, until Friday, when probably not less than fifty thousand men were engaged on our side, and our loss, even at the first rumor, is given at the fearful figures, 8,000; or, may be, until yesterday, when twice fifty thousand may have been engaged, and the losses have only been counted by God. Sunday is a day which has had more than its share of bloody battles during this war; and what scenes of carnage may be enacted today, near to the river on whose banks Washington lived and died, and where his dust now lies, we shall soon enough know.

          All these engagements seem to have been to the last degree indecisive. Up to yesterday morning, the rebels still held their ground in what Pope calls his front --(that is to say, in what was his rear before he wheeled around) -- somewhere near Centreville, it would seem. One or two more such engagements however, must inevitably exhaust the Southern army. The rebels have, within the week, exhibited an audacity, if not a desperation, that is extraordinary; and now, in falling back to Centreville, and in throwing detachments of the army to Vienna, to Leesburgh, and even , it is said, to the line of the Potomac, they show that they are making the grand struggle for life or death. If this Richmond rebel army, which has thus pierced almost to our Capital, be permitted to retire again into central Virginia, there will be plenty of future fighting for us on fields infinitely less advantageous than that hey have now challenged us to combat upon. They have given us an opportunity to destroy them never equaled in the history of this war, and seldom offered by an army to its adversary in any war. With our far superior numbers and position, there will be terrible culpability somewhere if the chance be not taken advantage of.

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