War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0168 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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26, 1862, organizing the Army of Virginia, which copy is appended to the proceedings of this day, marked A.

Captain WLADISLAV LESKI, additional aide-de-camp, U. S. Army, a witness, was duly sworn.

Question by General MCDOWELL. State what was your position on General McDowell's staff in August last. State what instructions General McDowell gave you the night of the 27th and 28th of August. State if you saw General McDowell on the morning of the 28th of August, and what instructions ha gave you concerning the movements of troops to hold Longstreet in check at or this side of Thoroughfare Gap. What road did the troops from Buckland Mills take? What regiment was first sent? What did it do? What troops succeeded this regiment? What reports did you make? What instructions did you dive?

Answer. In August last I was aide-de-camp, with rank of captain, on General McDowell's staff. On the night of the 27th and 28th of August, about midnight, I think General McDowell called me to his tent, where he was with General Reynolds, and explained to me his desire to send troops to Thoroughfare Gap immediately off the road from Warrenton to Buckland Mills; that is, this side of the creek, where General McDowell's troops were; the other side from here. He instructed me to go and find whether it would be practicable to send artillery and infantry in that direction. Accordingly I went outside our lines a distance of about 2 miles. I found the road passable so far, but beyond this, where was the mill, I couldn't find any road by which artillery could be sent. I returned then and reported the facts to the general.

I saw General McDowell early on the morning of the 28th and before daylight, when General McDowell sent me to General Sigel for General Bayard's cavalry brigade, which was at the time attached to General Sigel. General Sigel stated that he could not spare the cavalry at that time; that it would be impossible for him to advance if he had no cavalry, but that he would send them as soon as possible. He stated at the same time that one regiment of cavalry (the First New Jersey) was somewhat beyond Buckland Mills, and which, and which regiment General McDowell could use. I reported this to the general, and when we advanced in sight of the cavalry-Colonel Wyndham's regiment-General McDowell instructed Colonel Wyndham, in my presence, to move immediately to Thoroughfare Gap to get new from the enemy, and at the same time that be, Colonel Wyndham, would be re-enforced by other by other regiments as soon as practicable.

Shortly after that General McDowell sen me also to Thoroughfare Gap with instructions to brig as early new as possible about the enemy. I went to Thorough-fare Gap, and found part of the regiment of Colonel Wyndham inside of the Gap. I advised the colonel to obstruct the Gap, and he ordered a detachment of men to fell the trees in the Gap, which was done. We rode (the colonel and myself) then to see the picket line, and send some scouts forward to see whether enemy was advancing. Several prisoners were taken during the time in the Gap, from whom I ascertained Longstreet had been during the night at Salem, and was expected to pass the Gap during the day.

About 9.30 a. m. the scouts came back, stating the advance of the enemy was coming near to the Gap; and on the receipt of it I immediately sent the news to General McDowell. Soon afterward I returned to the general. When on the road I met General Bayard, coming with other regiments of cavalry, informing him of the condition of things and that the enemy was showing himself also on our right; that is, north of Hay Market.

On my return to General McDowell I informed him of the topography of the country, for which information I was sent; and the general instructed me to go back to General Ricketts, who got orders to defend the Gap. I met General Ricketts' troops crossing through the country from the Buckland Mills road to Hay Market. The troops advanced rather slowly, being an excessively hot day. I met General Ricketts near Hay Market, who concluded to go to the Gap, sending first a regiment of cavalry in advance, no enemy having shown himself yet this side of the Gap. The Harris Light Cavalry engaged first with the enemy in the Gap, who seemed to be removing the obstructions made for them. Soon after the infantry and artillery of General Ricketts engaged the enemy; and, as much as I remember, the Eleventh Pennsylvania Regiment was mostly in the fight.

While the engagement was going on I returned to General Bayard, at Hay Market, with the desire that he should push his cavalry to the right. The enemy then advanced with rather a strong force of cavalry upon Hay Market from the north. The