Battle of Second Manassas
August 28th - 30th, 1862







The return of Major Rivers from Fort Warren on the 23d of August, (he having been exchanged) was hailed with lively satisfaction by the regiment. Assuming command once more, he gallantly led it into the second battle of Manassas, on the 29th and 30th of August, on which occasion the regiment bore itself with its usual gallantry, participating in the ever memorable charge under the lead of General Pender, thereby aiding in the achievement of a glorious victory over the armies of the United States, at that time commanded by General Pope. On Saturday, Gen. Pope, assuming the Confederates had retreated, attacked Jackson's corps on the Southern left, but Longstreet on the right pushed ahead, taking Bald Hill and attacking Henry House Hill. Jackson repulsed Porter's attack and then drove back the Federal line.

Hill reported the disposition of his forces on the morning of August 29, along an unfinished railroad right-of-way extending southwest from Bull Run, as follows:

    "Friday morning, in accordance with orders from General Jackson, I occupied the line of the unfinished railroad, my extreme left resting near Sudley Ford, my right near the point where the road strikes the open field, Gregg, Field, and Thomas in the front line, Gregg on the left and Field on the right . . ."


The balance of Jackson's corps stretched for two more miles along the rail cut ending at the Warrenton pike. Longstreet's corps, having cleared Thoroughfare Gap the previous afternoon marching in Jackson's footsteps, soon arrived to Jackson's right, south of the turnpike. Pope, now well aware of Jackson, but still ignorant of Longstreet's presence, hurled all his might against Hill, on Jackson's left, seeking to break through between the brigades of Gregg and Thomas.

For ten long hours on August 29 Hill's three frontal and three reserve brigades absorbed and repulsed six headlong Federal assaults, fighting at times only with rocks, abundant along the railbed. Jackson sidled four brigades from Taliaferro and Ewell to Hill's support during the long afternoon but Lee was unable to convince Longstreet to advance on the right to relieve the pressure.

Finally, well after 5:00 p. m., Longstreet sent Hood's division forward on a "forced reconnaissance" on the right, finally diverting Pope's attention and bringing the day's fighting to a confused close.

In turning back the furious charge of Union General Phil Kearny's division at midafternoon the Pulaski Greys had their finest moment. The 49th Georgia, along with the 14th South Carolina of Gregg's brigade, of all the regiments in the field that day, drew praise for their heroic stand in the reports of both Jackson and Lee. From Jackson, this description:

"About 2 o'clock P. M. the Federal infantry, in large force, advanced to the attack of our left, occupied by the division of General Hill. It pressed forward in defiance of our fatal and destructive fire with great determination, a portion of it crossing a deep cut in the railroad track, and penetrating in heavy force an interval of nearly 175 yards, which separated the right of Gregg's from the left of Thomas's brigade. For a short time Gregg's brigade, on the extreme left, was isolated from the main body of the command. But the 14th South Carolina regiment . . . with the 49th Georgia, left of Colonel Thomas, attacked the exultant enemy with vigor and drove them back across the railroad track with great slaughter."

General Lee, of the same scene, recorded:

    "[A] large force advanced to assail the left of Jackson's position, occupied by the division of General A. P. Hill. The attack was received by his troops with their accustomed steadiness, and the battle raged with great fury. The enemy was repeatedly repulsed, but again pressed on to the attack with fresh troops. Once he succeeded in penetrating an interval between General Gregg's brigade, on the extreme left, and that of General Thomas, but was quickly driven back with great slaughter by the 14th South Carolina regiment . . . and the 49th Georgia, of Thomas's brigade. The contest was close and obstinate: the combatants sometimes delivering their fire at ten paces."


The fighting ended with little resolved on the 29th so far as the larger issues were involved.

By nightfall, the primary action of the battle was over. In this battle the losses in the Forty-ninth amounted to thirteen killed, and fifty-one wounded. While the numbers killed and wounded were comparable on both sides at the Second Battle of Manassas, the extent of Lee's victory was signaled by the 9000 prisoners taken.



Site dedicated to this battle from a Yankee perspective

Source: Don't Drink The Water: The Historical Sketch and Roster of the Georgia 49th Infantry Regiment