toward Front Royal and Thornton's Gap, though of this I am not certain. I shall push a strong reconnaissance across the river at Waterloo Bridge and Sulphur Springs early in the morning, to ascertain whether the main body of the enemy has really left, and, if so, to push forward on their rear. There is certainly no force opposite Rappahannock Station.
McDowell's is the only corps that is at all reliable that I have. Sigel, as you know, is perfectly unreliable, and I suggest that some officer of superior rank be sent to command his army corps. His conduct to-day has occasioned me great dissatisfaction. Banks' corps is very weak, not amounting to more than 5,000 men, and much demoralized.* Kearny's division is the only one that has yet reached me from Alexandria. I shall at all events push McDowell's corps and Kearny's division upon the enemy's rear, if I find my suspicions confirmed in the morning. I shall also put Reno across the river at Rappahannock Station and direct him to move forward cautiously upon Culpeper. Banks' corps must be left somewhere in the rear, to be sent up again. Sigel's corps, although composed of some of the best fighting material we have, will never do much service under that officer.
I will communicate further with you in the morning.
Numbers 2. Reports of Major General John Pope, U. S. Army, of the operations of the Army of Virginia June 26 - September 2, with orders and correspondence.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF VIRGINIA,
September 3, 1862.
GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following brief sketch of the operations of this army since August 9:
I moved from Sperryville, Little Washington, and Warrenton with the corps of Banks and Sigel and one division of McDowell's corps, numbering in all 32,000 men, to meet the enemy, who had crossed the Rapidan and was advancing on Culpeper.
The movement toward Gordonsville had completely succeeded in drawing off a large force from Richmond and in relieving the Army of the Potomac from much of the danger which threatened its withdrawal from the Peninsula.
The action of August 9 at Cedar Mountain with the forces under Jackson, which compelled his retreat across the Rapidan, made necessary still further re-enforcements of the enemy from Richmond, and by this time, it being apparent that the Army of the Potomac was evacuating the Peninsula, the whole force of the enemy concentrated around Richmond was pushed forward with great rapidity to crush the Army of Virginia before the forces evacuating the Peninsula could be united with it.
I remained at Cedar Mountain and still threatened to cross the Rapidan until August 17, by which time General Robert E. Lee had assembled in my front, and within 3 miles nearly the whole of the rebel army. As soon as I ascertained this fact, and knew that the Army of the Potomac was no longer in danger, I drew back my whole force
* See Pope to Halleck, December 3, 1862, in "Correspondence, etc.," Part III.