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He Hath Loosed the Fateful Lightning, Part 2

He Hath Loosed the Fateful Lightning: The Battle of Ox Hill (Chantilly), September 1, 1862
by Paul Taylor

Chapter 1
1. There wasn't much going on in the first chapter. It was basically the setup chapter for the rest of the book. If you've read any book on the Second Manassas Campaign (I suggest Hennessy's book), you'll know everything here.

Chapter 2
1. Chapter 2 focuses on August 31, 1862, the day after Second Bull Run and the day before Chantilly. Pope sat in the fortifications at Centreville all day, and Lee sent Jackson on a march around Pope's flank. It rained a lot that day and Jackson's "Foot Cavalry", already exhausted from hard marching and hard fighting, had a poor day marching by their standards. Longstreet meanwhile stayed in front of Pope southwest of Centreville to fix him in place, thus allowing Jackson's flank march a greater chance of success.

2. There were numerous Cavalry skirmishes throughout the day as "Jeb" Stuart covered Jackson's right flank and Union cavalry covered Pope's left. Taylor believes Stuart made a crucial mistake when he shelled a Union wagon train behind Pope's right. Taylor says that this alerted the Union to the possible presence of a flank march and was entirely unneccessary. Jackson's flank march ultimately failed, so Taylor definitely has a point.

3. Taylor asserts that Pope had no confidence in his Army and they none in him. Many of the officers from the Army of the Potomac resented the fact that Pope had replaced McClellan, and Pope believed they were deliberately trying to perform poorly to get him fired from command. Most of the officers of the Army wanted to retreat to Washington, D.C. because they were afraid that they'd be cut off otherwise. That's exactly what Jackson was trying to do, so they had a right to be worried.

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