It is curious, before getting at the exact truth, to recall the different reports or statements made with so much confidence by General Sigel. On the 27th, 1.50 p.m., he informs me-
The enemy is at Manassas by this time and has beaten our forces there, and to proceed to Alexandria to destroy our depots.
In another he states:
Jackson may be at Manassas or elsewhere.
Jackson must have been near Manassas Junction and beyond, near Kettle Run.
In the morning of the 28th he reported the enemy's main force still at Manassas Junction.
Still later he says that-
Jackson was on the march between Manassas and Gainesville to go to a certain point between Centreville, New Market, and Goverton.
And it is on these assumptions he bases his opinions of my neglect of duty; that if I had broken up his line of battle (which seems now not to have been formed) he would have defeated Jackson and he would have been in position to support King's division in the evening. It will be seen that he says he could not get forward to join King because it was too late in the evening. It may be asked, if he had marched, as he was ordered, rapidly, and thus have been an hour earlier, even if this junction could not have been made.
Captain Pell, fortunately for this case, can give us precise information, free from all speculative error.
He states that he left Manassas Junction about 9 o'clock in the evening of the 27th; the rebel troops commenced their march previous to that time; that he was with Ewell's division of Jackson' army, which consisted, he says, of three divisions, of about 21,000 men; that at about 10 o'clock a.m. of the 28th he was with the column of Ewell's division on Cub Run, somewhere near the crossing of a road to the north of the Centreville and Gainesville road.
The troops I was with halted there for some hours, and then proceeded to a place called Groveton Heights, by the way of Sudley Springs. They arrived at Groveton Heights about 8 o'clock in the evening. There had been a battle there, in which Doubleday's division was, I believe, engaged. I personally reached Groveton Heights at this time. There were troops and wagons in front and rear of me. I think the greater part of Ewell's division was behind me, and know we passed a great many troops on the road during the day.
It will be seen from this how little all General Sigel's and his engineer's (Kappner) theories are worth concerning Jackson being at noon on the 28th with his flank within convenient distance of Sigel's column.
We were not only at noon, but since 2 o'clock in the morning, all in error as to the position of the enemy. It was not till the 30th I found out what it had been on the 28th, and it seems General Sigel has yet to find it out, without he has acquired his information since he was before this court.
I have had some difficulty in bringing before the court all the facts connected with these matters of the 28th. It is not always even one's staff-it is so with me at least-know the motives of their chief or know all the facts the chief becomes possessed of. This I find to have been the case about the change of the order of march of King's division and about the means and measurements I took to satisfy myself of the