It was on this spot where the American Civil War Battle of Second Manassas began, on August 28, 1862. The Federal Army of Virginia, commanded by Major General John Pope, was advancing along a narrow lane on the Brawner Farm, near Manassas, Virginia. As Pope's men moved beyond the Brawner farmhouse, Major General Stonewall Jackson's Confederate infantry boiled forth from their concealed position behind an unfinished railroad cut. The greyclads went into line of battle behind this simple rail fence, and opened fire on the Union vanguard, which was in line of march on the farm lane barely 80 yards away. This was U.S. General John Gibbon's Black Hat Brigade, which would later become known as the Iron Brigade. The battle was on. In a melee, decscribed by Stonewall Jackson as "fierce and sanguinary," the two sides fought virtually toe-to-toe for the next two hours, before C.S. reinforcements finally forced the Union line to retreat. The battle would roll back and forth across the fields and hills near Manassas for another two days before Robert E. Lee's Southerners succeeded in driving Pope's Federals away.