as to hinder General Longstreet to pass either Thoroughfare Gap or Hay Market, if it was too late to occupy the Gap.
I would have sent about 10,000 men, with the intention to retard the movements of General Longstreet. I do not believe that these troops are sufficient to fight them all day, but I think they were sufficient to retard his movements.
Being asked if he would, under the circumstances,
Have considered that four brigades, sixteen regiments of infantry, twenty-four pieces of artillery, and two brigades of cavalry, in the aggregate between 11,000 and 12,000 men, a sufficient provision to hold Longstreet in check,
I would have regarded it as a sufficient provision if these troops were placed at the right point at the right time.
These extracts from his evidence show clearly what General Sigel thought should be, and thinks should have been, done in this case.
He also states:
I did not hear of any engagement near Hay Market and the Gap; this induces me to say I do not believe the necessary arrangements were made to hinder Longstreet from joining the army.
General Sigel acknowledge an interview to have taken place at Buckland Mills, on the night of the 27th, between himself and General McDowell, on the subject of what dispositions should be made for the ensuing day and what troops should be left at Thoroughfare Gap.
As to this interview, being asked by General McDowell (December 24):
Does the witness remember what General McDowell said to him would be the dispositions for the succeeding day? Does he remember it was the witness' corps, or the witness' corps, with a division from General McDowell added to it, that General McDowell decided to leave for the defense of Thoroughfare Gap?
Answer. I do not know anything about that; at least it must have been so indefinitely said to me that I did not mind it.
Question. What did General McDowell propose to witness at his headquarters concerning the defense of Thoroughfare Gap and holding the enemy in check at that point?
Answer. He did not make any definite proposition.
Question. What were those opinions or expressions of General McDowell on that occasion with reference to the subject of holding the enemy in check at Thoroughfare Gap or this side it?
Answer. Many different opinions were expressed by General McDowell. He was not sure whether a corps should be sent there or a division, or what corps or what division, and I, therefore, as I did not like to impress upon him my own judgment, left it with him to decide and to order, and to give me instructions.
Question. When you left Buckland Mills on the morning of the 28th did you or did you not know General McDowell had made any provision for meeting Longstreet at or this side of Thoroughfare Gap?
Answer. I did not know anything at all.
Judging from this testimony of General Sigel any one would say he marched from Buckland Mills without knowing anything of General McDowell's arrangements for meeting the enemy the next day in the direction of Thoroughfare Gap.
Yet I shall show he knew that in the first place he himself was assigned to this duty, and that one of my divisions was to remain behind to support him; and, in the second place, that subsequently he knew this duty was assigned to Rickett's division.
On both these points the court has the best proof, furnished by the testimony of General Sigel himself.
See the following order, introduced by General Sigel, and appended to the proceedings of January 7: