War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0314 OPERATIONS IN N.VA., W.VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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Answer. I gave information to General McDowell relating to the position of the enemy from myself. I received no orders from any one.

Question by the COURT. State that information.

Answer. I was sent out by order of General Sigel to our left, after we heard some firing, with 20 men-cavalry. I crossed the field to Fairfax Court-House pike and came near Groveton, where I found the enemy in position. As I came back near Gainesville, and about 1 1/2 miles from Gainesville, I saw General McDowell, and I thought it my business to report to General McDowell what I saw and where I had been sent. General McDowell asked me how far from this place on the Manassas Junction road was General Sigel, and I told him about 4 miles. General McDowell said, "All right; go to General Sigel and tell him he should take position-the right on the railroad, the left on the pike;" that is the only communication I took change of.

Question by the COURT. When you went toward Groveton, and before seeing General McDowell, did you discover any portion of the enemy; and, if so, state what you saw.

Answer. Yes, sir; I saw some artillery, and some cavalry pickets. I think I saw a battery, but I cannot say, only I am sure there was some artillery. I saw of cavalry pickets some 10 or 12 men across the fields, and of cavalry in all something of about 50 men. I saw no infantry.

Question by the COURT. State whether you informed General McDowell what you had seen.

Answer. I told him that as I was out in that direction about 1 1/2 miles I had seen some of the enemy and a battery in position. I don't recollect whether I said anything about the cavalry and pickets. This is all the information I gave to General McDowell.

Question by the COURT. Have you personal knowledge that any communication was sent to General McDowell on that day informing him of the presence of an infantry force to your left and front, or of the movement of a train of wagons on the pike toward Gainesville?

Answer. No, sir.

So it seems that Burchard brought no message to me of General Sigel having formed line of battle, of his having an army corps in front of him, or a brigade, or a regiment, or any infantry at all, or any message from General Sigel or anybody else, but bore one from me to General Sigel that he should get with his right on the railroad, which, however, he did not do.

As to this force which the lieutenant saw, it was the same one which fired into the head of Reynolds' column, and consisted of a section of artillery and some mounted men, evidently a reconnoitering party. (See evidence of General Meade, Lieutenant-Colonel Tillson, and Captain Haven, all fully agreeing on this point.) General Meade thought at first it injudicious in me to leave the road after this evidence of the enemy's being there, but he afterwards thought the party to be a mere demonstration.

There has been an impression that this small force that fired into the head of Reynolds' division, as it was coming up the road from Gainesville, was the same force that evening became engaged with King's division, and was in fact the head of Jackson's army. General Sigel, it is plain to me, is under this impression. His maps and his theories and assumptions having been made, not at the time of the occurrences of which I am now seeking to explain, but from afterthoughts. It is a pity for the soundness of his theories he had not waited a little longer. He would have found that Jackson, whom he so confidently stated to have been marching by a flank, within striking distance of his head of column, and who was seeking to gain some point between Centreville, Groveton, and New Market was some 8 miles away, and marching in a different direction.

Fortunately, for a true understanding of the matter of Jackson's position, we have the account of Captain Pell, aide-de-camp to General Burnside, who was taken prisoner on the 27th, and was with the enemy's army all of the 28th and 29th.