Auto Tour Stop #7: Deep Cut

Deep Cut Monument
The Deep Cut Monument with the fields of the Federal attack beyond

NPS / Hassler

Quick Facts

Historical/Interpretive Information/Exhibits

On the afternoon of 30 August, 1862, Union General John Pope ordered an attack on "Stonewall" Jackson's position here at the Deep Cut. Some 8,000 soldiers moved out of the woods along Featherbed Lane, in dense formations, towards the Confederate position at the top of the hill. 

Exposed to raking Confederate artillery fire from the Brawner Farm less than one-half mile to the west, and then to sheets of musket fire from Jackson's infantry, the Union assault was shattered a bloodily repulsed. 


Second Battle of Manassas, Day Three, August 30, 1862, 3 p.m.

Full throated cheers greeted the order to attack. More than 6,000 Union soldiers under General Fitz John Porter poured across the road into the fields of Lucinda Dogan's farm. As the blue-clad lines traversed the open ground, a massive concentration of Confederate artillery, posted on the neighboring Brawner Farm, unleashed a torrent of shot and shell. The bombardment shattered their formation and thinned the ranks. Still, the Federals pressed on and ascended the far ridge. 

The attack culminated near the "Deep Cut"- the deepest portion of the unfinished railroad bed. Opposing troops, separated only by the width of the protective embankment, held their muskets horizontally above their heads and fired blindly. Many soldiers resorted to throwing rocks. Unable to endure the barrage from front and flank, and with dwindling hope of reinforcement, the decimated Union regiments retreated. In less than an hour, the largest Federal attack of Second Manassas had failed. 

The whole field was covered with a confused mass of struggling, running, routed Yankees. - Colonel Bradley T. Johnson, CSA.

Manassas National Battlefield Park

Last updated: February 9, 2024