10 Totally Random Facts About…Second Manassas! // A History Post +An Excerpt from Our Heritage to Save!
At last, I have returned to this beloved series after…4 months! Wow…that’s a long time…
Anyway, today I am doing a post on the Battle of Manassas Junction, Virginia! But Ryana Lynn, you might say, You’ve already done a post on Manassas Junction! And you would be quite right! Here’s a link to my first post! But today, we are looking at the SECOND battle that took place in that unfortunate area. Unfortunate because who really wants to have ONE battle fought in their backyard, let alone TWO? And hang around at the end of the post for a tiny excerpt from my book, Our Heritage to Save, to learn an additional fact about the Battle!
1. Lightning Strikes Twice. Yep, people often say it doesn’t but it has happened…anyway… Second Manassas (Or Second Bull Run, if you’re from the northern side of the Mason/Dixon 😉) was fought on the same ground as the first major battle of the War Between the States, almost a year later! And it lasted a little longer too, beginning on August 28th and ending on the 30th.
2. Stonewall was Here! But unlike the first battle, where his was one of the last on the field, Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s was the first command to arrive at Second Manassas…3 days early!
3. Same song, second verse. After the second battle I suppose the federal army decided it would be a bad idea to fight here again; they lost both battles fought at Manassas Junction to the Confederate Army.
4. Immortalized in Song. There is a hilarious song, written and sung by southerners, that goes through the laundry list of men who Lincoln put in charge of his Grand Army of the Potomac. (There were so many, it’s not even funny!) The commander for the Manassas Campaign was Gen. John Pope. The song is written as if it’s union soldiers singing it, making it even funnier to the Southern population. Pope and the Battle of Manassas were featured in the lyrics like this:
Then said Lincoln unto Pope, “You can make the trip I hope,
I will save the Universal Yankee Nation,
To make sure of no defeat, I’ll leave no lines of retreat,
And I’ll issue a famous proclamation.”
But the same dreaded Jackson, This fellow laid his whacks,
And made him by compulsion a seceder.
And Pope took rapid flight from Manassas’ Second fight,
‘Twas his very last appearance as a leader.
But to be fair, the southern author was kind to Pope in the chorus…
Then pull off your overcoat and roll up your sleeves,
For Stonewall is a hard road to travel;
Pope did his very best but was evidently sold,
For Richmond is a hard road to travel, I am told!
5. A New Commander. The federals weren’t the only ones with a different commanding general when Second Manassas rolled around. Instead of Joseph Johnston commanding Southern forces, General Lee was in charge. But the results were the same: Southern Victory!
6. Old Stomping Grounds. Stonewall’s first mission upon arriving at Manassas Junction was to destroy the Union supply depot there. After fulfilling this duty, Stonewall set about making camp…near to the very place where he had first earned the nickname Stonewall (though he always insisted the name belonged to the brigade who had fought with him that day).
7. Don’t Count your Eggs Until They Are Laid. During the fight, U.S. General Pope informed Lincoln that the victory was the Union. NEVER announce victory before you actually have it…you’ll have to eat your words…
8. Strike while the Iron is Hot! Stonewall believed in action. He was not one to sit around and wait for the enemy to attack him. Second Manassas showed that very well. Pope knew he was in the area, due to a previous fight with another command. But his men got within a few hundred yards of Stonewall and didn’t even see him until Jackson’s artillery opened fire on them.
9. It’s not the Size that counts. Jackson and his troops were outnumbered two to one during the battle. In fact, multiple times, the federals broke their lines. But in spite of being outmanned, Jackson’s men always counterattacked and plugged the holes. And it paid off; Longstreet reinforced them, giving them desperately needed man power to ultimately carry the battle.
10. According to the Numbers… There are a lot of similarities between the two Battles of Manassas Junction. But the numbers are not part of that. Around 63,000 federal and 55,000 Confederates were engaged in the second battle, almost but not quite double their forces from the first battle. At First Manassas, 2,896 federals were listed as casualties (mostly injured); at Second Manassas, their numbers were 13,826. The Confederates listed 1,982 casualties (again mostly injured) at the first battle. Those numbers jumped to 8,353 at the second battle. (Numbers taken from A Pocket History of the Civil War by Martin F. Graham, ©2011 by the author, All Rights Reserved)
And now…for the excerpt…which happens to spotlight one of my favorite facts about this battle!
From Chapter 22: He Fixed It, Our Heritage to Save
“Believe it, Joe. We’re out of ammo!” The young Southern soldier’s face was white with anxiety. “We just used our last two rounds. What are we gonna do?”
“Rocks!” someone yelled. “Use the rocks!” The boys looked down at the rocks on the ground.
“Can’t hurt trying,” Joe shouted, picking up a sizable one. He hurled the rock as hard as he could. The others standing around followed suit.
Meanwhile, a Union soldier was firing away as fast as he could. Suddenly, a hard object struck his rifle barrel. “What was that?” Another “thing” came flying, this time striking him in the shoulder. “Stones? Ahh!” A hail of the rock ‘bullets’ came raining down on him.
“Now I have seen everything!” his friend commented, picking a pebble from his hand. “Here we are, fighting our own countrymen in the middle of nowhere, and being battered by rocks!”
“Yeah, and they say Longstreet and Lee reinforced Jackson last night. This is insanity!”
Not as long as most of my excerpts, but if I put anymore…well, you know, spoilers…
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this post!
Have a Blessed Day!
Today, I’m back with another writing post! (Click here for post 1 and 2!) I thought it would be nice to do another themed around the War Between the States, so we’re going to look at a few more common myths (or facts) about the late war!
Claim #1: Coffee in the South wasn’t real Coffee
During the war, it was extremely difficult to come by because of the Federal blockade. Instead, Southerners were content to drink coffee substitutes made of sweet potatoes, corn and other root vegetables.
Claim #2: Drummers never saw action
Contrary to what many say, drummers were often on the field of battle, for that was their whole purpose, conveying orders that otherwise could not be heard over the den of the weaponry. But that wasn’t the only battle task allotted to them. They also carried(or dragged) soldiers off the field to the medical stations. They fetched water and held horses and ran messages. Without drummers, battles would not have turned out as they did.
Claim #3: Blacks only served in the Union Army
This is one of the things that bothers me the most about people calling the Confederacy racist. Southern blacks were serving the Confederacy long before the federals allowed them to fight. I’m shocked at the number of historians who chose to ignore and deny the fact that blacks willingly served. True, they were not given the official rank of soldier until 1865, but that does not justify ignoring their valuable and honorable service. They served as wagoners, cooks, barbers, and yes, soldiers, carrying flags, drums and rifles into battle.
Claim #4: Jefferson Davis “adopted” a black child
While in town one day, Varina Davis witnessed a black guardian beating a little black boy in his care. Varina, indignant over the scene, took the child into her custody and raised him in the Confederate White House with her children. His name was Jim Limber and he stayed with the Davis family until their arrest in 1865. He was then ripped away from his family, kicking and screaming. They never saw him again, though they heard people say that Varina was the one who beat him, not his former guardian. You can read more here.
Claim #5: Firing on Ft. Sumter was an act of War and started the War Between the States
Firing on Ft. Sumter was not an act of war, but a mission to protect the public from an enemy threat of violence. Col. Robert Anderson had moved his men from Ft. Moultrie to Ft. Sumter, which he felt was a stronger place of safety for his men. The people of South Carolina took this as a clear signal of violence, especially since the cannons of the fort were aimed directly at the city of Charleston. This was a direct attack on the safety of the civilians living there.
Action had to be taken.
Previously, the state had tried to buy the fort from the federal government, even though they knew it was rightfully their own. The government refused, the threat persisted and the fort was attacked on April 12th, 1861.
Another thing that shows this wasn’t an act of war is the fact that none of the soldiers who surrendered were treated as Prisoners of War. They were allowed to leave the state and return to their families.
War was not the objective here, but rather peace and safety.
So that wraps up today’s post! Have a blessed week!
Taking a short break from 10 Totally Random Facts posts and introducing another set of Historical posts I’m excited to share! I love to see how God works in the lives of ordinary people, but also in historical situations. Today, I’m gonna share one that I love, the story of Dr. Max Rossvalley, a surgeon during the War Between the States. But it starts with a boy named Charlie…
(Quotes are paraphrases)
Sometime between July 1st and July 5th of 1863, in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, a drummer of only 17 years of age was severely wounded during either the fighting or skirmishes of the unsuccessful Confederate campaign. Carried to the camp for medical attention, Charlie was turned over to a Jewish surgeon named Max L. Rossvalley. Not many truly trusted the man, since he had been a scout for the Confederate Army before. No one knows to this day if Rossvalley indeed defected or if he was still secretly spying on the Federals from the inside.
Charlie was in a great deal of pain but refused to take chloroform or brandy for the pain, having promised his mother never to touch anything that resembled alcohol. The nurse and Dr. Rossvalley both urged him to take the medication, but he steadfastly refused. He was to lose his arm and leg, and Dr. Rossvalley knew he would more than likely die of shock. The boy said, “If you won’t make me take anything, I won’t
make a scream, I promise.”
He spoke with a chaplain, asking him to give his Bible to his mother. Then he turned to the doctor and told him he was ready.
Rossvalley was not a Christian, and drinking was a problem he didn’t try to deal with at this point in his life. He “braced himself” for the operation and headed in to remove the boy’s appendages.
The only sound the boy made the entire time was when he took the edge of the pillow between his teeth and said, “Lord, please stand by me now!”
The boy asked to see the doctor a few days later, and though he didn’t want to talk to the boy, he went to see him. The boy told him about Jesus, witnessing to him. Rossvalley said he couldn’t believe in Jesus, because he was Jewish. Charlie Coulson replied that his best Friend (Jesus) was Jewish. Then he asked Dr. Rossvalley to stay by his side and watch him die, trusting in his Savior.
Later that day, however, the boy’s pleading to see the doctor was rewarded and Rossvalley came back to him. Charlie told him that he had to say something. He said, “While you were amputating my arm and leg, I asked the Lord to save you.” With those words, he passed into the Presence of his Savior. And Rossvalley had indeed seen him die.
Years later, Rossvalley met a barber, who witnessed to him and impressed him with the sign on his wall that said, “Please do not swear in this room.” When he arrived home, the man’s words haunted him, and he couldn’t get away from them. At last, Rossvalley gave his life to Christ, including his desire for alcohol.
His wife was furious and left the house with their two children. She told the children never to call him father and never allowed them to read his letters. His mother and family in Germany disowned him, holding a funeral for him.
But God does move in mysterious ways.
Dr. Rossvalley’s daughter read one of his letters and felt moved by his words. She confessed her disobedience to her mother but begged her to read the message. As a result, Mrs. Rossvalley and the children were saved, and the family was restored.
But the story doesn’t end there.
While traveling, he stopped at a Church and heard a woman give her testimony. She was dying but wanted everyone to know she was ready to go. She was so excited to see her Savior and her son, who had died at Gettysburg following a double amputation.
The Chaplain had sent her a letter and his bible and informed her of his witnessing to his Jewish doctor.
Rossvalley stood and finished the story. “I am that Jewish Doctor that your son prayed for. And his Savior is now my Savior.”
What are the chances of such a thing occurring? Pretty big when God is at work. Mrs. Coulson gave Dr. Rossvalley Charlie’s letter and Bible, which he carried with him until his death.
Have a blessed day!
Ahh, I’ve been looking for this book for years! I went to a local book shop, and the guy there found it for super cheap and offered to get it shipped for a small fee! I thoroughly enjoyed this book, so without further ado, let’s hop in!
By Ruth Painter Randall
Overall: I LOVE THIS BOOK! Okay, I’ve always been a huge Jefferson Davis family fan, but I’ve never read a book solely about them. This was the perfect book to start with. My mom read this years ago and told me about it, and I’ve been looking for it ever since. The story follows Varina, but it’s impossible to talk about her without paying homage to her amazing husband and her adorable children.
What I Loved: Getting to know my president and his wife on a more personal level. Seeing their heart for their people and their conservative values. It was a fantastic story. And of course little Jim Limber! Oh, I wish we knew what happened to him…
Cons: Multiple references to the Lincolns in an annoyingly positive light. The author acts as if they were a god and goddess and knowing what I do about the Lincolns, I found her comments offensive and her comparisons of the Lincolns and Davis’ to be extremely rude. Their values were very different, and I don’t think the couples would have appreciated being compared to each other. They had some similar unfortunate situations happen to them (losing children), but that doesn’t justify the author’s assertions that they were following the same track in life.
Hope you enjoyed this review! Have a Blessed Week!
I enjoy a good non-fiction read! Today’s is a fun one that I borrowed from the library. It encompasses my favorite time period, the War Between the States!
The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Civil War
H.W. Croker 111
(Not sure Why the Cover is different than the book I borrowed...)
This one would have been a five star for me, but because of some language used in the quotes and occasionally in the text, I dropped my rating a little bit.
Overall: This book is a wealth of information on the American War Between the States. It gives semi-in-depth biographies of important generals, north and south. It also takes you through the war, noting important battles, little known facts and what would have happened if the South had won!!!
What I Loved: This book didn’t read like a text book. It was far more interesting. My Favorite parts were about Stonewall Jackson, Gen. McClellan, Nathan B. Forrest, and A.P. Hill. Really neat side-notes; hardcore southern reading. Many good quotes and interesting information. I loved how they didn’t avoid or justify the topic of slavery, while pointing it out as a national sin and how it really had no pull on the southerners as a reason to fight.
Two particular bad words stick out in my mind that were used about half a dozen times. If this had been my book, I would have blotted them out. Another thing that I found personally irritating was the length of the chapters. I prefer short chapters, and these were usually between 20-28 pages long.
Recommended for ages 16 and up for understanding.
Have a Blessed Week!
Christian. American. Southern. Author.
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