To counter what he viewed as General George McClellan's want of action, President Abraham Lincoln brought
Major General John Pope east to provide some aggressive leadership for the troops in that theater. In response, Confederate
General Robert E. Lee divided his recently victorious forces and sent Jackson's men north to cut Pope's supply lines. Knowing
he outnumbered Jackson's men, Pope saw an opportunity.
"Headquarters Army of Virginia,
Bristoe Station, August 27, 1862-9 p.m.
At daylight to-morrow morning march rapidly on Manassas Junction with your whole force, resting your right on the Manassas
Gap Railroad, throwing your left well to the east. Jackson, Ewell, and A. P. Hill are between Gainesville and Manassas
Junction. We had a severe fight with them today, driving them back several miles along the railroad. If you will march promptly
and rapidly at the earliest dawn of day upon Manassas Junction we shall bag the whole crowd. I have directed Reno to march from
Greenwich at the same hour upon Manassas Junction, and Kearny, who is in his rear, to march on Bristoe at daybreak. Be
expeditious, and the day is our own.
General Pope would get his wish and find Jackson's Corps alone, awaiting battle along an unfinished railroad cut on the old
Manassas / Bull Run Battlefields.