(Kiosk Panel): Sequel to Second Manassas
The Battle of Ox Hill, September 1, 1862
The Confederate victory at Second Manassas (August 28-30, 1862) forced Union General John Pope's Army of Virginia to retreat to the heights of Centreville. To dislodge Pope from his strong Centreville positions, Confederate General Robert E. Lee, commanding the Army of Northern Virginia, ordered General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson's 17,000 troops on a flank march to cut off Pope's army from Washington.
Heavy rains hindered Jackson's march on August 31, but by the afternoon of September 1 his column was advancing toward Fairfax Court House on the Little River Turnpike. Alerted to this threat, Pope assembled a force at Jermantown to block Jackson's path and directed the IX Corps, some 4,000 troops, toward Jackson's right flank. Sharp fighting erupted as General Isaac Stevens' division made contact with Jackson's column at Ox Hill. Storm clouds darkened the sky as Stevens launched an attack on the Confederates in the woods. The general was killed while gallantly leading this assault. As Stevens fell, a violent thunderstorm struck with gale force winds.
With rain falling in torrents, the lead brigade of General Philip Kearny's division, III Corps, arrived with 2,000 more troops and resumed Stevens' attack. Scouting the ground in his front amid the downpour, Kearny accidentally rode into Confederate lines and was killed while trying to escape.
Despite wet ammunition, the bloodshed continued until darkness brought an indecisive end to the struggle. There was no tactical resolution—only exhaustion, the wounded and the dead. During the night, Union forces withdrew and eventually reached the safety of Washington's defenses. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia marched toward Leesburg and, on September 4, began fording the Potomac River, initiating the Maryland Campaign.
(Kiosk Panel): Where the Battle was Fought
Deployment Areas, Troop Positions and Battle Lines
Union and Confederate Forces
Ox Hill, September 1, 1862
The Battle of Ox Hill (Chantilly) was fought across 500 acres of Fairfax County farm fields and woods. Today, the 4.9-acre Ox Hill Battlefield Park preserves the last remaining ground of the historic battlefield. Examine this photograph and see where the battle was fought. Compare the deployment areas, troop positions and battle lines with the highways and urban development on the site today.