2nd Manassas - Aug. 1862
The Battle of 2nd Manassas - Thursday, August 28, 1862
Battery Heights

Brawner Farm
Union General Abner Doubleday's men followed General John Gibbon's Brigade on their eastward march along the Warrenton Turnpike. Realizing the severity of the challenge he had accepted, General Gibbon asked General Doubleday for assistance. Union artillery would move into position on the right of their line on a rise that would become know as Battery Heights. Still, Stonewall Jackson had placed his entire Corps in a well considered, easily defensible position.  The ferociously bloody contest he initiated would rage for hours, each side too proudly stubborn to give way. General Gibbon would quickly discover that these men were not the horse artillery as he had thought but instead they were Stonewall Jackson's seasoned veterans.

A soldier of the Union's 7th Wisconsin grimly told of the fighting both sides endured. "We soon found that we had to deal with General Ewell's whole division of picked men. We advanced within hailing distance of each other, then halted and laid down, and my God, what a slaughter! No one appeared to know the object of the fight, and there we stood one hour, the men falling all around; but we got no orders to fall back, and Wisconsin men would rather die than fall back without orders." [C]

General Abner DoubledayGeneral Doubleday would later expand upon the events as they unfolded. "I have the honor to report that on Thursday, August 28, about 5.30p.m., while my brigade was marching in rear of Gibbon's brigade, on the road from Gainesville to Centreville, a well directed and heavy fire opened upon us at very short range from a battery on a hill to the north of us. Sheltering my men as much as possible behind a small rise of ground in the road, I directed them to halt and await orders. Receiving none, and unable to obtain them I almost immediately sent two regiments of my brigade-the Fifty-sixth Pennsylvania, under Colonel S. A. Meredith, and the Seventy-sixth New York, under Colonel W. P. Wainwright-to aid General Gibbon, who had pushed his whole brigade forward through a piece of woods to attack the battery, under the impression that it was merely supported by cavalry. General Gibbon was received with a tremendous fire from a large army in position, under Jackson, Ewell, and Taliaferro. Knowing he would be overpowered if not succored, I immediately complied with his earnest request and sent him the two regiments referred to, leaving myself but one regiment in reserve.

Campbell's battery, attached to Gibbon's brigade, was posted on the right, but, having no infantry support, was unable to open fire. I was thus compelled to send my only remaining regiment, the Ninety-fifth New York, under Lieutenant-Colonel Post, as a support to the battery. The battle lasted until the approach of night, when the enemy ceased to fire, and the contest ended. Throughout the whole action my men held their ground unflinchingly, and in this their maiden fight covered themselves with glory. It will be seen from the inclosed tabular statement that our loss in killed, wounded, and prisoners was nearly one-half of our force engaged." [5]

The Union's General Gibbon would add of Campbell's Battery, "Campbell's pieces came up on the gallop, the fences along the pike being torn down to let them pass into the field. With shells bursting about them, they were placed into position and began to reply rapidly from the knoll from where I had first caught site of the enemy's guns." [C]

Confederate General Thomas Jackson would speak with pride of the actions of the brigade whose name he shared. "The gallantry and heroism displayed by our troops is beyond all praise. The First Brigade was more exposed than any other, and more than sustained the reputation which, under the leadership of the major-general commanding on the same field over twelve months ago, it achieved, and which has distinguished its veteran troops in many of the headrest-fought battles of the war. Colonel W. S. H. Baylor Fifth Virginia, who commanded it, was worthy of his heroic command. No more exalted recognition of his worth and services can be uttered and no higher tribute can be paid him than to declare that he was worthy of the command of the Stonewall Brigade in the action of the 28th..." [5]