The Army of Northern Virginia under General Robert E. Lee sent Jackson’s Command to deal with Pope on the Rappahannock, resulting in the Battle of Cedar Mountain on August 9. With McClellan’s Army of the Potomac showing no signs of offensive intentions, Lee followed Jackson with Longstreet’s Command, and led both north in an attempt to destroy Pope. The result was the Second Battle of Bull Run and the withdrawal of Union forces into the Washington defenses. As August ended Lee prepared to move into Maryland.
The Department of Richmond was established on August 30, 1862 under the command of Major General Gustavus Smith. Smith was the ranking major general of the Army of Northern Virginia and had briefly taken command when General Johnston was wounded at Seven Pines. But Smith broke down under the strain and President Davis gave Robert E. Lee the command of the army. By early August Smith was recovered from his breakdown and on August 10 was given command of the troops Lee was leaving behind to cover Richmond while he marched north to deal with Pope. On August 30 Smith was formally given command of the “defenses of Richmond and its approaches.”