War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0195 Chapter XXIV. GENERAL REPORTS.

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Lieutenant Colonel DAVIS TILLSON, Maine Artillery, U. S. Volunteers, a witness, was recalled.

Question by General MCDOWELL. Were you with General McDowell on the 28th of August last?

Answer. I was.

Question by General MCDOWELL. State what occurred after General McDowell passed Gainesville.

Answer. Soon after passing Gainesville General McDowell and staff turned to the left and passed by the rear of Sigel's corps, the head of which had turned to the right along the railroad. General McDowell threw out skirmishers to the right and left and in front along the turnpike, and advanced over it, followed at some little distance in the rear by General Reynolds at the head of his division. Arriving at a point a little to the east of where the road from Manassas intersects the turnpike a horseman was noticed, some three-quarters of a mile to the front on the crest of a hill, in the turnpike. Halting his staff and escort, General McDowell sent forward a small body of his escort, under command of Captain Haven, to ascertain what it was. Captain Haven returned and reported that there was a small body of the enemy just beyond the hill before mentioned. About this time the head of General Reynolds' corps arrived at the point where General McDowell had halted, and the enemy opened fire upon the head of his column from a section of a battery placed in the turnpike just beyond the crest of the hill referred to. General Reynolds immediately deployed the head of his column to the left, brought up a rifled battery, and in a few moments silenced the enemy's guns.

Question by General MCDOWELL. About what time was it when the shelling took place between the enemy and Reynolds' division?

Answer. I have no means of knowing accurately. I should say it was about noon.

Question by General MCDOWELL. State what you know concerning the character and number of the force the enemy had on this occasion and what General McDowell did to ascertain it.

Answer. I have no personal knowledge other than I could obtain from the report of Captain Haven and from the report and amount of the enemy's fire. i am very sure, from the position occupied and the character of the firing, that the enemy did not have more than a section of a battery. Soon after the firing ceased I am very sure I heard General McDowell (who was but a few rods south of the turnpike during the whole of the firing) direct General Reynolds to send out skirmisher, under cover of the woods, each side of the turnpike, and ascertain the strength and character of the enemy, and I know that not long after General Reynolds' division advanced along at or beyond the point the enemy occupied in the morning at the time the shelling took place. It was a very inconsiderable affair. There were only about a dozen shells thrown by the enemy.

Question by General McDowell. Did General McDowell receive in your presence any information as to this force of the enemy from any officer-from a cavalry party who were to the south of the pike and to the right and front of Reynolds' position? If so, state the character of the information as to the number and character of the force of the enemy's party?

Answer. I recollect that a mounted officer came up to General McDowell, I think soon after the firing ceased, and stated that his command was to the right and front of the position we occupied at that moment. I got the impression from his description that he was nearly abreast of the position occupied by the enemy. He said that he had been there some time observing the enemy, keeping out of sight as much as possible himself to prevent their shelling him, and I feel quite sure that he stated the enemy's force consisted of a section of a battery and a small support of infantry.

The court adjourned to meet on Monday, January 12, 1863, at 11 o'clock a. m.