War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0257 Chapter XXIV. GENERAL REPORTS.

Search Civil War Official Records

Answer. I am a major and aide-de-camp on Major-General Fremont's staff, and I am assigned voluntarily to General Sigel's staff, on which I rank as chief engineer.

Question by the COURT. Where and with whom were you serving on the 28th day of August last?

Answer. With the First Corps, Army of Virginia, under Major-General Sigel, at Buckland Mills.

Question by the COURT. Narrate the movements made by General Sigel's corps on that day, and in connection therewith state what was known on the position and strength of the enemy on that day.

Answer. General Sigel's corps (at night) by day-time at 3 o'clock was got up-they ordered to fulfill-to march to Manassas. Six o'clock the same morning the advance guard arrived at Gainesville. The same advance guard had met the enemy's pickets while they were advancing, and the enemy's pickets retired beyond Gainesville-that the route from Gainesville to Manassas. They could not pursue the enemy's route, but take the right to Manassas. About 3 miles from Gainesville, toward Manassas, was the center of the army corps, and took their rest. It was about 10 o'clock in the morning. The same time General Sigel's escort came in and told him that the enemy advanced from the right corner of the left flank. In the proper time I have asked General Sigel for to give me 24 cavalrymen for to go out and see if the information of the scouts was correct and for a reconnoitering expedition.

Question by the COURT. Have you made a map of the locality to which you refer? If so, produce it.

Answer. I have.

The witness produced a map, which is appended to the proceedings of this day, marked A.

Question by the COURT. Did you make the map just referred to from your own personal knowledge of the locality it purports to represent?

Answer. From my own personal knowledge and from my observation when I march in these localities.

By the COURT. Continue your narrative of the movements of General Sigel's corps on the 28th August last.

The witness continued:

With the 24 cavalrymen I have made for the same direction where the scouts had informed us-the same position or the same direction; had no road, but one open field. When I made 1 1/4 miles I came to a height near a farm-house. From the same place I had a very far view. I have seen on the turnpike which goes from Centreville and Gainesville a white line on the route. Then I took my glass, then I have seen about 50 of the enemy's wagons, which went toward Gainesville, as I give on my plan. After I have seen this I took my position about 250 yards nearer on the left side, and have seen about 5 vedettes to the front, toward General Sigel's march line, and about a quarter [of a] mile distant from that vedettes. There was about 50 cavalry of the same vedettes, and the route toward Groveton from New Market I saw an infantry column, about three regiments. All this has happened. I immediately let General Sigel, in writing, know. I reported to General Sigel that the army (General Sigel's), with wagons and artillery, could pass along the route without interruptions, as well as the movement of the enemy was reported to General Sigel. I remained at the same point about a half an hour. I saw General Sigel with a part of his army coming before the same position. This was about a quarter to twelve in the morning. General Sigel telled me that before he break his camp he sent a report to General McDowell. When I came to General Sigel, where he was below the hill, and wanted to stretch his column to engage the enemy, then came an ordnance officer from General McDowell-the orderly came with an order to General Sigel to immediately march on Manassas. General Sigel at the same moment took the same route as he came to march toward Manassas, to comply with the order of General McDowell. The same evening we did march so far as the advance guard was-a half a mile before Manassas. I wish to remark that General Sigel did not find any enemy toward Manassas; then he advanced toward New Market. I wish to state a few remarks on the importance of the position where I was at the time on the hill near the farm-house. At the time I was on the hill I observed the enemy marching, and, according with strategic rules, my own impression is that when an enemy is on the march and not yet in position