War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0308 OPERATIONS IN N.VA., W.VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

Search Civil War Official Records

and should have been in motion before the others. The orders I gave General Sigel at Warrenton to march on the turnpike from that place (see January 7) directed him as follows:

No wagons but for ammunition will accompany your corps on this road. Your baggage trains will immediately proceed to Catlett's.

Notwithstanding this order, which was also given to my own command and enforced in it (I had myself nothing but my horse), General Sigel had with his corps nearly 200 wagons, which kept blocking up the road and retarding the movement; and notwithstanding I had been him on the morning of the 28th, before he left and I had urged on him personally to march immediately and rapidly and had shown him General Pope's orders to me requiring this to be done, yet his advance was so slow that the note written to me by Captain Leski at Thoroughfare Gap at 10.15 a.m. and received by me near Gainesville and then sent to General Ricketts, reached him just this side of Buckland Mills, a distance of about 3 miles from his bivouac of the night before. His division had been on their feet since 2 o'clock a.m.-over 9 hours-and in that time had not gone twice the length of the division front from where they started. For an account of the efforts made to get the troops forward over this fine turnpike road, which General Sigel states had no obstructions on it, see evidence of General Ricketts, Colonel Schriver, Major Barstow, and Captain Haven, from which it will be seen that the provision I had made for Longstreet,and which General Pope says was not in compliance with his orders and could be only justified by the danger I might find myself in from an attack on the rear of my column, was owing entirely to the delays, for which I certainly was not responsible. I knew well the difficulties in moving so large a body of men and artillery over the same road under the most favorable circumstances, and wished therefore it might be unobstructed. The first battle of Bull Run was seriously affected by a small baggage train getting into the column, as in this case, contrary to orders. We had great delay and confusion on account of baggage wagons at Culpeper and ont he march to Warrenton. Hence my rigid order that no wagons should go on this road.

I do not feel called upon to go into the question of what was done or what was not done by the force sent to Thoroughfare Gap; that concerns more particularly, so far as personal matters go, the general under whom they were sent. My duty consisted, I submit, in sending-if it was proper I should send at all-an adequate force "to the right place and at the right time." The time was the earliest one possible under the circumstances produced by my accuser, and the place is the one he himself has indicated, and the force a greater one than he has named. So, whatever disapprobation my conduct in this matter may have merited, he of all others should be the last one to censure me. The general (Ricketts) sent to Thoroughfare Gap did hold Longstreet in check during that day.


In reference to this General Sigel days:

I further believe that there was not the necessary co-operation between the two corps on their way to Manassas-my corps and that of General McDowell-by which want of co-operation we lost the opportunity to attack the enemy on his left flank while he was retreating from Manassas.