command were sent, and the movements made, so far as practicable, during the day of the 26th. About 8 o'clock at night on the 26th the advance of Jackson's force, having passed through Thoroughfare Gap, cut the railroad in the neighborhood of Kettle Run, about 6 miles east of Warrenton Junction. The cavalry force which I had sent forward toward Thoroughfare Gap on the morning of the 26th made no report to me.
The moment our communications were interrupted at Kettle Run I was satisfied that the troops which had been promised me from the direction of Washington had made no considerable progress. Had Franklin been even at Centreville on the 26th, or had Cox and Sturgis been as far west as Bull Run on that day, the movement of Jackson through Thoroughfare Gap upon the railroad at Manassas would have been utterly impracticable. So confidently did I expect, from the assurances which I had time and again received, that these troops would be in position, or at all events far advanced toward me, that Jackson's movement toward White Plains and in the direction of Thoroughfare Gap had caused but little uneasiness; but on the night of the 26th it was very apparent to me that all these expected re-enforcements had utterly failed me, and that upon the small force under my own immediate command I must depend alone for any present operations against the enemy. It was easy for me to retire in the direction of the lower fords of the Rappahannock to Fredericksburg, so as to bring me in immediate contact with the forces there or arriving there, but by so doing I should have left open the whole front of Washington; and after my own disappointment of the re-enforcements which I had expected I was not sure that there was any sufficient force, in the absence of the army under my command, to cover the capital. I determined therefore at once to abandon the line of the Rappahannock and throw my whole force in the direction of Gainesville and Manassas Junction, to crush the enemy, who had passed through Thoroughfare Gap, and to interpose between the army of General Lee and Bull Run. During the night of the 26th the main body of the enemy still occupied their positions from Sulphur Springs to Waterloo Bridge and above, but toward morning on the 27th I think their advance moved off in the direction of White Plains, pursuing the route previously taken by Jackson, and no doubt with a view of uniting with him eastward of the Bull Run Range.
From the 18th of August until the morning of the 27th the troops under my command had been continuously marching and fighting night and day, and during the whole of that time there was scarcely an interval of an hour without the roar of artillery. The men had had little sleep, were greatly worn down with fatigue, had had little time to get proper food or to eat it, had been engaged in constant battles and skirmishes, and had performed services laborious, dangerous, and excessive beyond any previous experience in this country. As was to be expected under such circumstances, the numbers of the army under my command had been greatly reduced by deaths, by wounds, by sickness, and by fatigue, so that on the morning of the 27th of August I estimated my whole effective force (and I think the estimate was large) as follows: Sigel's corps, 9,000 men; Banks' corps, 5,000 men; McDowell's corps, including Reynolds' division, 15,500 men; Reno's corps, 7,000 men; the corps of Heintzelman and Porter (the freshest by far in that army), about 18,000 men; making in all 54,500 men. Our cavalry numbered on paper about 4,000 men, but their horses were completely broken down and there were not 500 men, all told, capable of doing