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Fugitives cross Rappahannock River, Virginia in 1862
Fugitive slaves cross the Rappahannock River in Virginia on their way North in 1862

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The Second Battle of Manassas
August 30, 1862

On August 28, the Second Battle of Manassas began. Pope marched his men right into Jackson's waiting forces near the town of Manassas, where the Confederates had won a battle a year earlier. They fought until night fell. In the morning, Pope's Northerners broke through the Confederate defenses, which moved back. Pope hoped they had planned to retreat. Instead, General Lee had arrived with 30,000 reinforcements. The Union was forced to retreat--the battle was lost. They would have to try again later. The presence of the Union in Northern Virginia, however, had a positive effect: it gave many slaves the opportunity to escape to the North.
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