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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.
In July 1862, President Abraham Lincoln appointed Henry Halleck as the new commander in chief of Union armies during the Civil War, having relieved George B. To Lincoln’s frustration, Mc Clellan was demanding more troops in order to renew his offensive against the Confederate capital of Richmond during the Peninsula Campaign.
After Confederate artillery turned back a Union attack on Jackson’s positions, Longstreet ordered his corps forward in an aggressive counterattack on the Union left, which had been weakened after Pope shifted his troops right to hit Jackson.
Faced with Lee’s entire army, the Federals were forced back to Henry House Hill, scene of the hardest fighting in the earlier Bull Run battle.
Believing that Jackson was preparing to retreat in order to join the rest of the rebel army (and not realizing that in fact Longstreet was advancing to join Jackson), Pope did not wait to assemble a large force, but sent divisions in smaller assaults on the Confederate positions on the morning of August 29.
Jackson’s men managed to hold their ground, turning back the Federal assault with heavy casualties on both sides.
“Stonewall” Jackson to the northwest to march around Pope’s right flank while the rest, under James Longstreet, watched Pope’s army across the Rappahannock River.Knowing Mc Clellan’s army was on its way to join Pope, which would mean an overwhelming numerical advantage for the Federals, the Confederate General Robert E.Lee resolved to strike Pope’s army before that happened.When several Confederate brigades adjusted their positions that night, Pope mistakenly took the movement for the beginning of a retreat.After sending word to Washington of an imminent victory and his army’s planned pursuit of the retreating enemy, he renewed the Union attacks on August 30.