Friday, August 28, 2009

Second Bull Run-A Strategic Victory

On this day in 1862, the Second Bull Run or Manassas battle began. Though it was an important Southern victory, I think it was largely a tactical one.

Second Bull Run did not change the strategic balance of power in the war. Basically, the North had the superiority in men and resources. Due to that predominance, much of the war consisted of Union forces marching into the South and tangling with Confederate forces. Through much of the war, the Confederates often repulsed the Union armies but the Northern forces continued to return. This is exactly what happened. After Antietam, the North launched another offensive with disasterous results in front of Fredericksburg.

This is why Gettysburg and Antietam were such important battles. Lee understood the balance of power and sought to change it with his invasions of the North. The South could only win the war through a clear strategic victory on Union soil.

When those efforts failed, it was only a matter of time before Northern will and superiority of resources would begin to tell.

I'm curious to know your viewpoint. What is your opinion of the significance of Second Bull Run?
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1 comment:

  1. I pretty much agree with you and think similar comments could be made about Chancellorsville, despite it's reputation as "Lee's Greatest Victory."

    I don't mean to diminish the audacity and creativity Lee showed in accomplishing those victories, as he showed his greatness and his courage with such maneuvers, but I believe the Seven Days' Battles, which chased McClellan away from Richmond was Lee's most important victory.