War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0301 Chapter XXIV. GENERAL REPORTS.

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It is plain the failure to have troops near the General Banks at the time he moved his corps forward into battle was not due to any neglect of mine, though it will perhaps be noticed from General Pope's evidence that it may have been so from that of my accuser.


General Sigel was at Waterloo August 24 and 25, leaving there on the night of the 25th.

Major-General Pope, then the commanding officer of General Sigel and myself, marched with my corps from the Rappahannock on the 22nd to Warrenton, and remained with its headquarters at Warrenton till the afternoon of the 25th. He testifies that on those days "all the dispositions of my corps were made by his orders and under his immediate observation." (See proceedings of January 12.)

General Pope further states as follows:

Question by General McDOWELL. Did or not, so far as you know, General McDowell neglect or fail any way to carry out any of your orders, as to the disposition of his corps at or in the vicinity of Warrenton or Sulphur Springs or Waterloo, with reference to any movement you had ordered General Sigel to make?

Answer. He did not. When we commenced the movement toward Sulphur Springs and Warrenton, on the 23rd of August, it was on information that large forces of the enemy had crossed the Rappahannock at Sulphur Springs and Waterloo Bridge. The river having risen 6 or 8 feet on the night of the 22nd, so as to destroy the fords, I proposed to throw my whole force upon whatever forces of the enemy were upon the north side of the river, hoping to be able, on account of the high water, to crush them before they could succeed in recrossing the river. General Sigel, commanding the left, was instructed to push forward to the Waterloo Bridge, following the course of the Rappahannock. I told him I would push forward McDowell's corps from Warrenton to join him if necessary near Waterloo Bridge, but on the 24th I sent a strong reconnaissance forward to Waterloo Bridge, but on the 24th I sent a strong reconnaissance forward to Waterloo Bridge, under General Buford, from Warrenton, and he reported to me on the afternoon of the 24th that there was no enemy on the north side of the river, and that he had fired the bridge at Waterloo. I immediately informed General Sigel of the whole of these facts, that I was sure there was no enemy between him and Waterloo. I therefore did not consider it necessary to push McDowell's corps any farther in that direction. As soon as the advance of General Sigel's corps reached Waterloo General Buford took post with all his cavalry on his right, and picketed the river for several miles above Waterloo. I make this statement to show why the corps of General McDowell was not advanced toward Waterloo Bridge on the 24th.

The disposition of my corps on the 25th were in strict conformity with General Pope's general order of that day. (Recorded with proceedings of January 7.) From General Sigel's official report it would seem he wished it to appear I was in some way connected with, if indeed not responsible for, his movement from Waterloo Bridge in the night to Warrenton. He says he had been under my command since his arrival at Waterloo; had sent to me for instructions, &c. Yet he has himself presented to the court (proceedings of January 7) a copy of my note, taking command of his corps (for a special purpose, under the instructions of General Pope), which note is dated the 26th. It was in fact issued after his night march from Waterloo, and when he and his whole corps had fallen back behind mine. If he ever sent to me for instructions on the 25th I could have given him none, for he commanded a corps under the orders direct of the general commanding the army. The evidence shows, in fact, that he sought his orders and instructions from the only source that could then give them-General Pope's headquarters, and not mine. He further says, "I was to have relieved General Milroy's brigade at the bridge." In this he mistakes the general order of General Pope of the 25th, which directed the army to be posted with its