Rappahannock long enough to effect the junction of the two armies, I had directed a part of the Peninsula forces to land at Alexandria and move out by railroad as rapidly as possible. As soon as I heard that the enemy had turned General Pope's right flank and forced him to change his front I ordered the remainder of the Army of the Potomac to Alexandria, and directed General Burnside to prepare to evacuate Fredericksburg and Aquia Creek. I determined, however, to hold this position as long as possible for a base of future operations.
General Pope's dispositions at this juncture were well planned. The corps of McDowell and Sigel, and the Pennsylvania Reserves, under Reynolds, were pushed forward to Gainesville. Reno and Kearny were directed upon Greenwich, while Hooker's division was sent against Ewell along the railroad. Unfortunately, however, the movement was too late, as a large detachment of Lee's army was already east of Thoroughfare Gap.
Hooker encountered the enemy near Kettle Run, and a sharp engagement ensued. This gallant division drove Ewell a distance of 5 miles, the enemy leaving their dead and many of their wounded on the field.
As McDowell, Sigel, and Reynolds had reached their positions, there was now every prospect that Jackson would be destroyed before re-enforcements could dome to his relief. On the evening of the 27th General Pope ordered General Porter to be at Bristoe Station by daylight on the morning of the 28th, with morel, and also directed him to communicate to Banks the order to move forward to Warrenton Junction. All trains were ordered this side of Cedar Run, and to be protected by a regiment of infantry and a section of artillery. For some unexplained reasons Porter did not comply with this order, and his corps was not in the battles of the 28th and 29th.
Heintzelman's corps pressed forward to Manassas on the morning of the 28th, and forced Jackson to retreat across Bull Run, by the Centreville turnpike. McDowell had succeeded in checking Lee at Thoroughfare Gap, but the latter took the road from Hopewell to New Market and hastened to the relief of Jackson, who was already in rapid retreat. A portion of McDowell's corps encountered the retreating column on the afternoon of the 28th near the Warrenton turnpike, and a severe but successful engagement ensued. Jackson was again attacked on the 29th, near the old battle-ground of July, 1861, Knowing that Long-street was not distant, he made a most desperate stand. The fight continued nearly all day, and was terminated only by darkness. We had gained considerable ground, but nothing was decided when the battle closed. It was renewed the next morning, and after another day's hard fighting our forces fell back behind Bull Run, the enemy not attempting any pursuit. Tow days later, however, he threw a considerable force between Chantilly and Germantown, to turn Pope's right. Hooker dislodged them, after a short but severe engagement, in which Brigadier-Generals Kearny and Stevens, two of our very vest officers, were killed. Pope's army had been re-enforced by the corps of Franklin and Sumner, and no further apprehensions were felt for its safety.
During the operations of the previous week, of which we received very favorable but not reliable accounts, every effort was made to push forward supplies and re-enforcements to General Pope's army. The troops from the Peninsula were ordered not to wait for transportation, but to march immediately to the field of battle. Some of the corps