On the morning of August 29, 1862, the Union Fifth Corps, nearly 10,000 troops under Major General Fitz John Porter, advanced from Manassas Junction along this road under orders from Major General John Pope to march towards Gainesville and cut off the presumed escape of Stonewall Jackson's forces. Upon reaching Dawkins Branch about 11:30 a.m., Porter's column met Confederate resistance. Dust clouds to the west, generated by Confederate cavalry, gave the impression of a large enemy column. As skirmishing continued throughout the afternoon, Porter learned it was General James Longstreet's wing of Robert E. Lee's army confronting him. Unable to connect with Pope's left flank near Groveton, Porter did not press an attack against Longstreet's superior numbers. The presence of Union troops here kept Longstreet from moving against Pope on August 29 but Porter's inaction made him a convenient scapegoat for the Union defeat at Second Manassas and led to his Court-Martial, which was eventually overturned in 1876.