War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0302 OPERATIONS IN N.VA., W.VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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left on the Rappahannock at Kelly's Fort-to be occupied by Reno-

and the right held by my corps at Warrenton. Waterloo was to be held only by cavalry, and Buford was there for the purpose, with a brigade (Tower's) on the Waterloo road to support him, and the other three brigades of Rickett's division supporting the advance brigade. I know that these troops were so posted, for I visited them in person on the night of the 25th, before General Sigel fell back. The general also refers to having received a mutilated order from me, which confused matters. Whilst in a more correct statement of the case in his testimony he admits "that it was signed, and I believe by a staff officer of General Pope. I do not know, "he continues," whether the order was written at Warrenton or Warrenton Junction."

I refer to these inaccuracies of General Sigel in his report to show the bias of his mind against me, which led him to endeavor to throw the blame on me without cause.


The mountain ridge which runs to the east of north from Warrenton to the Potomac is quite continuous, but with narrow openings every few miles called "Gaps," through which pass the roads from the Potomac to the Blue Ridge.

The first of these openings north of the one taken by the turnpike from Warrenton to Fairfax Court-House, Centreville, and Alexandria is called Thoroughfare Gap. A few miles north of Thoroughfare Gap is Hopewell Gap; next comes Aldie Gap. The railroad from Front Royal to Manassas, and the country road from Salem and White Plains, in the Piedmont District to Manassas, come through Thoroughfare Gap and cross the Warrenton turnpike at Gainesville. There is also an east and west road through Hopewell Gap; and the Little River turnpike to Germantown, Fairfax Court-House, and Alexandria goes through Aldie Gap.

In throwing back the right of the army along the Warrenton turnpike General Sigel, who had fallen behind my corps at Warrenton, was under my command and in front in this retrograde movement, and reached Buckland Mills, with his advance 3 miles beyond, at Gainesville, on the afternoon and evening of the 27th. My corps and Reynolds' division followed and closed up with him that night, one of the divisions having marched from near Sulphur Springs and the other from half way between Warrenton and Waterloo.

It was known to us by telegram from General Pope at Warrenton Junction that Jackson's corps had come through Thoroughfare Gap and was at or near Manassas, and, by a reconnaissance made by General Buford in the direction of Salem, that Longstreet was marching in the same direction after Jackson. It was in reference to what I did or did not do to prevent Longstreet coming through this Gap, or to delay his coming through, that General Sigel finds cause for censure.

General Sigel says (December 20):

In the first place I do not believe that General McDowell did what he could under the circumstances to hinder General Longstreet to join General Jackson. I am not certain, but I believe that he left not a sufficient force at Thoroughfare Gap, or in the neighborhood, to prevent the enemy's troops to pass by this defile, which is very easy to defend.

He further states:

I believe that on the 28th, in the morning, one division should have been posted so