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Kelly's ford, and Rappahannock station, whole army," upon the flank and rear of on the railway. The enemy immediately their long column, which was passing up followed, and for two days, the 21st and the river. This movement was defeated 22d, the two armies were confronted, and by the rapid rise in the river, from the kept up an artillery fire across the river, storm of the night of the 22d. As the which the rebels in vain endeavored to same flood, however, would impede the cross. There were no obstacles, how- enemy in crossing, General Pope ordered ever, in the way of their passing the Sigel, on his right, to march, with his stream above, and they, accordingly, whole corps, supported by Reno and made their movement in that direction, a Banks, towards Waterloo Bridge, and body of General Stuart's cavalry cross-cut off and attack the portion of Lee's ing at Waterloo Bridge, traversing the army which had already crossed the country in the rear of the Union army, river. McDowell was, at the same time, and, on the night of the 22d, falling upon ordered to Warrenton, with BrigadierCatlett's station, on the railroad, where General Reynolds' Pennsylvania Rethey surprised the guard, and captured a serves, the first of McClellan's army of large wagon train, including the papers, the Potomac to join General Pope's compersonal effects and equipage of Gen- mand, to coöperate with this movement. erals Pope and McDowell, which were General Sigel," says General Pope, freely pillaged. General Pope's, and a “moved, as ordered, slowly up the Rapfew other wagons were burnt. While pabannock, in the direction of Sulphur these depredations were going on, a Springs, on the 23d, and first encounterfurious thunder-storm was raging, delug-ed a force of the enemy near the point ing the country. There was, of course, where a small creek, called Great Run, much confusion in the darkness. Some puts into the Rappahannock, about two resistance was offered, but nothing effec- miles below the Sulphur Springs. The tive. Stuart's party, not more than 300 enemy was driven across the stream, but in number, had it all their own way, destroyed the bridges. The heavy rains though there were not less than 1,500 had caused this small creek to rise so infantry, and five companies of cavalry, much that it was not then fordable, so who should have been prepared to meet that the night of the 23d, and part of the them. Indeed, General Pope, who might morning of the 24th, were spent by Gennaturally feel sore on the matter—seeing eral Sigel in rebuilding the bridges. On the rummage of his effects was vaunted the night of the 23d also, the advance of by the rebels as a personal indignity in- McDowell's corps occupied Warrenton, a flicted as a return for his obnoxious" or- cavalry force of the enemy having reders," — pronounces the success of the treated from there a few hours before. enemy, who, besides the spoil of his On the morning of the 24th, General headquarters, and the destruction of Sigel, supported by Generals Reno and property, carried off a number of prison- Banks, crossed Great Run, and occupied ers and horses, "most disgraceful to the the Sulphur Springs, under a heavy fire force which had been left in charge of the of artillery from batteries which the entrains.” Having in this raid inflicted emy had established all along the south what injury the night permitted, the en- side of the Rappahannock. The bridge emy left before daylight on their return which had been burned at Sulphur to Warrenton.
Springs, and upon which the forces of When the advance of the enemy on the enemy, which had crossed a day or his right was fully ascertained, General two previous, escaped from the advance Pope determined to recross the Rappa- of General Sigel, was rebuilt, and Genhannock, and “fall, furiously, with his eral Sigel pushed forward with the force supporting him, in the direction of Water- roic campaign-days, in the ordinary life loo Bridge.”
of armies, filled with the events of months. In one of these engagements of Gen- “On the 23d," says be, "I received a eral Sigel's command, General Henry dispatch from the General-in-Chief, inBohlen fell while leading his troops forming me that heavy reinforcements against the enemy. Born in Germany, would begin to arrive at . Warrenton he had established himself in Philadelpha, Junction the succeeding day, and on the where he became a prosperous merchant 24th I received dispatches from Colonel and highly respected citizen. His pa- Haupt, the railroad superintendent at triotism led him to raise a regiment of his Alexandria, who informed me that thirty countrymen, of which he took the com- thousand men, ordered forward to join mand, in General Blenker's division. He me, had demanded transportation from was then promoted to the rank of Briga- him, and that they would all be shipped dier-General, and attached to the de- that afternoon, or early the next mornpartment of Fremont, distinguishing him- ing. The force which I thus expected self greatly by his conduct at the engage- was, as reported to me, to consist of the ment at Cross Keys.
division of General Sturgis, ten thousand The enemy, meanwhile, were pushing strong ; the division of General Cox, their forces rapidly on to the north, be- seven thousand strong; the corps of tween the Blue Ridge and the Bull Run General Heintzelman, ten thousand mountains, a large detachment of infan- strong; and the corps of Gen. Franklin try, artillery, and cavalry, on the 24th, ten thousand strong. By the night of being discovered well on their way to the 25th it became apparent to me that I ward Manassas railroad at Rectortown. could no longer keep open my communiThe Union forces, gathered between cations with Fredericksburg, and oppose Warrenton and the north fork of the the crossing of the Rappahannock at Rappahannock, confronted the Confed- Rappahannock station, without abandonerate centre on the right bank of the ing the road from Warrenton to Washriver. It was the object of General ington, and leaving open to the enemy Pope to hold the enemy till reinforce- the route through Thoroughfare Gap, ments should arrive from McClellan's and all other roads north of the Orange army. It was the enemy's object to an- and Alexandria railroad. As the main ticipate this movement, and get between body of his force was constantly tending the army of General Pope and Washing- in that direction, I determined no longer ton, and cut off his supplies. As Lee's to attempt to mask the lower fords of the army was advancing rapidly towards the Rappabannock, but to assemble such accomplishment of its design, General forces as I had along the Warrenton Pope felt compelled, at all hazards, to turnpike, between Warrenton and give them battle on the march. Portions Gainesville, and give battle to the enof the army of the Potomac, and General emy on my right or left, as he might Cox's division, which had been ordered choose. I therefore directed McDowell from Western Virginia, were on their to occupy Warrenton with his own and way from Alexandria and Fredericks- Sigel's corps, supporting him by Banks' burg to his aid. . As the complicated corps from the direction of Fayetteville. movements which followed involve many I pushed Reno forward to occupy a point nice matters of detail, on a proper esti- near the Warrenton turnpike, and about mate of which must rest the military re- three miles to the east of that town. I putation of General Pope, it is but justice sent orders to General Porter, who had to that officer to cite his connected nar- reported to me by note from the neighration of the remaining days of this he- | borhood of Bealeton station, to push for
ward and join Reno. Heintzelman's day of the 26th. About eight o'clock at corps, which had reached Warrenton night on the 26th, the advance of JackJunction, was ordered to remain for the son's force having passed through Thorpresent at that point, it being my pur- oughfare Gap, cut the railroad in the pose to push forward that corps, as soon neighborhood of Kettle Run, about six as practicable, to Greenwich, about half-miles east of Warrenton Junction. The way between Warrenton and Gainesville. cavalry force whicleI had sent forward I sent orders to Colonel Haupt, to direct to Thoroughfare Gap, on the morning of one of the strongest divisions being sent the 26th, made no report to me. The forward to take post in the works at Ma- moment our communications were internassas Junction, and requested General rupted at Kettle Run, I was satisfied that Halleck to push Franklin with all speed the troops which had been promised me to Gainesville ; that he could march quite from the direction of Washington, had as rapidly as he could be transported by made no considerable progress. Had rail, with the limited means of railroad Franklin been even at Centreville, on the transportation in our possession, and that 26th, or bad Cox and Sturgis been as far his baggage and supplies could be sent west as Bull Run on that day, the moveforward to Gainesville by rail. I also ment of Jackson through Thoroughfare sent orders to the Colonel commanding Gap, upon the railroad at Manassas, at Manassas Junction for the first divi- would have been utterly impracticable. sion that reached there from Alexandria So confidently did I expect, from the asto halt and take post in the works at that surances which I had time and again replace, and directed him to push forward ceived, that these troops would be in poall of his cavalry in the direction of sition, or, at all events, far advanced Thoroughfare Gap, to watch any move toward me, that Jackson's movement toments the enemy might make from that ward White Plains, and in the direction direction. I had instructed General of Thoroughfare Gap, had caused but Sturgis, commanding at Alexandria, on little uneasiness; but, on the night of the the 22d of August, to post strong guards 26th, it was very apparent to me that all along the railroad from Manassas Junc- these expected reinforcements had utterly tion to Catlett's station, and requested failed me; and that upon the small force him to superintend this in person. I also under my own immediate command, I directed General Kearney, who reached must depend alone for any present operWarrenton Junction on the 23d, to see ations against the enemy. It was easy that sufficient guards were placed all for me to retire, in the direction of along the railroad in his rear. After the lower fords of the Rappahannock, to these precautions and assurances, I had Fredericksburg, so as to bring me in imthought, and confidently expected, that mediate contact with the forces there, or by the afternoon of the 26th, Franklin arriving there; but, by so doing, I should would have been at or near Gainesville ; have left open the whole front of Washone division would have been occupying ington ; and, after my own disappointthe works at Manassas Junction, and ment of the reinforcements which I had that the forces under Sturgis and Cox expected, I was not sure that there was would have been at Warrenton Junction, any sufficient force, in the absence of the whence they could have been at once army under my command, to cover the pushed north in the direction of Warren capital. I determined, therefore, at once ton turnpike. The orders for the dispo- to abandon the line of the Rappahannock, sition of the forces then under my com- and throw my whole force in the direcmand were sent, and the movements tion of Gainesville and Manassas Juncmade, so far as practicable, during the tion, to crush the enemy, who had passed through Thoroughfare Gap, and to inter- general and field officers. The corps of pose between the arıny of General Lee Porter had also reached Warrenton and Bull Run. During the night of the Junction, with a very small supply of 26th, the main body of the enemy still provisions, and but forty rounds of amoccupied their positions from Sulphur munition for each man. On the morning Springs to Waterloo Bridge and above ; of the 27th, in accordance with the purbut toward morning on the 27th, I think pose previously set forth, I directed Mctheir advance moved off in the direction Dowell to move forward rapidly on of White Plains, pursuing the route pre- Gainesville, by the Warrenton turnpike, viously taken by Jackson, and, no doubt, with his own corps and Sigel's, and the with a view of uniting with him eastward division of Reynolds, so as to reach that of the Bull Run range.
point during the night. I directed Gen“From the 18th of August, until the eral Reno, with his corps, followed by morning of the 27th, the troops under Kearney's division of Heintzelman's my command bad been continuously corps, to move rapidly on Greenwich, so marching and fighting night and day, and as to reach there that night, to commuduring the whole of that time there was nicate at once with General McDowell, scarcely an interval of an hour without and to support him in any operations the roar of artillery. The men bad bad against the enemy in the vicinity of little sleep, were greatly worn down with Gainesville. I moved forward along the fatigue, had had little time to get proper railroad, toward Manassas Junction, with food, or to eat it had been engaged in Hooker's division of Heintzelman's corps, constant battles and skirmishes, and had leaving orders for General Porter to reperformed services, laborious, dangerous, main with his corps at Warrenton Juncand excessive, beyond any previous ex- tion, until relieved by General Banks, perience in this country. As was to be who was marching to that place from expected under such circumstances, the Fayetteville, and as soon as he was renumbers of the army under-my command lieved, to push forward also in the direchad been greatly reduced by death, by tion of Gainesville, where, at that time, I wounds, by sickness, and by fatigue, so expected that the main collision with the that, on the morning of the 27th of enemy would occur. The army trains August, I estimated my whole effective of all the corps I instructed to take the force (and I think the estimate was road to Warrenton Junction, and follow large) as follows; Sigel's corps, 9,000 in the rear of Hooker's division, toward men ; Banks' corps, 5,000 men ; McDow- Manassas Junction, so that the road ell's corps, including Reynolds' division, pursued by the trains was entirely cov15,500 men ; Reno's corps, 7,000; the ered from any possible interruption by corps of Heintzelman and Porter (the the enemy. On the afternoon of the freshest, by far, in that army), about 27th a severe engagement occurred be18,000 men, making, in all, 54,500 men. tween Hooker's division and Ewell's Our cavalry numbered, on paper, about division of Jackson's forces. The action 4,000 men ; but their horses were com- commenced about four miles west of pletely broken down, and there were not Bristow station. Ewell was driven back 500 men, all told, capable of doing such along the railroad, but still confronted service as should be expected from cav- Hooker at dark, along the banks of Broad alry. The corps of Heintzelman had Run, immediately in front of Bristow reached Warrenton Junction, but was station, at which point I arrived at sunwithout wagons, without artillery, with set. The loss in this engagement was only four rounds of ammunition to the about three hundred killed and wounded man, and without even horses for the on each side, the enemy leaving his dead,
many of his wounded, and much of his in the morning. General Porter failed baggage on the field of battle.
utterly to obey the orders that were sent “The railroad had been torn up, and him ; giving as an excuse that his men the bridges burned, in several places be- were tired, that they would straggle in tween Bristow station and Warrenton the night, and that a wagon-train proJunction. I accordingly directed Major- ceeding eastward, in the rear of HookGeneral Banks to cover the railroad er's division, would offer obstructions to trains at Warrentou Junction until Gen- his march. He, however, made no ateral Porter's corps had marched from tempt whatever to comply with this orthat place, and then to run back the der, although it was stated to him in the trains as far as practicable, ad covering order itself that his presence was necesthem with his troops, to repair the sary, on all accounts, at daylight, and bridges as fast as possible. I also direct that the officer delivering the dispatchi ed Captain Merrill, of the engineers, was instructed to conduct him to the field. with a considerable force, to repair the There were but two courses lest open to railroad track and bridges as far as pos- Jackson in consequence of this sudden sible in the direction of Bristow station. and unexpected movement of the army. The road was, accordingly, put in order He could not retrace his steps through from Warrenton Junction to Kettle Run, Gainesville, as it was occupied by Mcduring the 27th, and the trains ran back Dowell, baving at command a force equal, to that point early next day. At dark if not superior, to his own. He was on the 27th, General Hooker reported to obliged, therefore, either to retreat me that his ammunition was nearly ex- through Centreville, which would carry hansied, and that he had but five ronnds him still further from the main body of to a man left. I had by that time be- Lee's army, or to mass his force, assault come convinced that the whole force un- us at Bristow station, and turn our right. der Jackson, consisting of his own, A. P. He pursued the former course, and reHill's, and Ewell's divisions, was south | tired through Centreville. This mistake of the turnpike, and in the immediate of Jackson's alone saved us from the seneighborhood of Manassas Junction. rious consequences which would have McDowell reached his position during followed this disobedience of orders on the night of the 27th, as did also Kear- the part of General Porter. ney and Reno, and it was clear on that “At nine o'clock on the night of the night that he had interposed completely 27th, satisfied of Jackson's position, I between Jackson and the main body of sent orders to General McDowell to push the enemy, which was still west of the forward, at the very earliest dawn of Bull Run range, and in the neighborhood day, toward Manassas Junction, froin of White Plains. Thinking it altogether Gainesville, resting his right on the likely that Jackson would mass his Manassas Gap railroad, and throwing whole force and attempt to turn our right his left well to the east. I directed Genat Bristow station, and knowing that eral Reno to march at the same lour Hooker, for want of ammunition, was in from Greenwich, direct upon Manassas little condition to make long resistance, I. Junction, and Kearney to march at the sent back orders to General Porter, same hour upon Bristow. This latter about dark of the 27th, to move forward order was sent to Kearney to render my at one o'clock in the night, and report to right at Bristow perfectly secure against me at Bristow by daylight in the morn- the probable movement of Jackson in ing, leaving instructions in some detail that direction. Kearney arrived at for Banks, who was expected at Warren- Bristow about eight o'clock in the mornton Junction during that night or early ing, Reno being on the left, and marching