o'clock in the day. If the whole force under McDowell had moved forward as directed and at the time specified they would have intercepted Jackson's retreat toward Centreville by 8 o'clock in the morning, and I do not believe it would have been possible for Jackson to have crossed Bull Run, so closely engaged with our forces, without heavy loss.
I reached Manassas Junction with Kearny's division and Reno's corps about 12 o'clock in the day of the 28th, less than an hour after Jackson in person had retired. I immediately pushed forward Hooker, Kearny, and Reno upon Centreville, and sent orders to Fitz John Porter to come forward to Manassas Junction. I also wrote to McDowell, and stated the facts, so far as we were then able to ascertain them, and directed him to call back the whole of his force that had come in the direction of Manassas Junction and to move forward upon Centreville. He had, however, without my knowledge, detached Rickett's division in the direction of Thoroughfare Gap, and that division was no longer available in his movement toward Centreville. Late on the afternoon of the 28th Kearny drove the enemy's rear guard out of Centreville, and occupied that town, with his advance beyond it, about dark. The enemy retreated through Centreville, one portion of his force taking the road by Sudley Springs, and the other pursuing the Warrenton turnpike toward Gainesville, destroying the bridges on that road over Bull Run and Cub Run. McDowell, with his whole force, consisting of his own corps, except Rickett's division, Sigel's corps, and the division of Reynolds, marching in the direction of Centreville, encountered the advance of Jackson's force retreating toward Thoroughfare Gap about 6 o'clock on the evening of the 28th. A severe action took place between King's division, of McDowell's corps, and the advance of Jackson, which was terminated by darkness. Each party maintained its ground. Gibbon's brigade, of King's division, which was in the advance of that division, sustained the brunt of the action, but was supported handsomely by Doubleday's brigade, which came into action shortly after. This engagement and its result were reported to me near Centreville about 10 o'clock that night.
I felt sure then, and so stated, that there was no escape for Jackson. I accordingly sent orders to General McDowell, as also to General King, several times during the night of the 28th, and once by his own staff officer, to hold his ground at all hazards to prevent the retreat of Jackson to the west, and that at daylight in the morning our whole force from Centreville and Manassas Junction would be up with the enemy, who must be crushed between us. I also sent orders to General Kearny to push forward at 1 o'clock that night cautiously from Centreville along the Warrenton turnpike; to drive in the pickets of the enemy, and to keep closely in contact with him during the night; to rest his left on the Warrenton turnpike and throw his right well to the north, if possible across Little River turnpike; at daylight in the morning to assault vigorously with his right advanced, and that Hooker and Reno would be up with him very shortly after daylight. I sent orders to General Porter, whom I supposed to be at Manassas Junction, where he should have been in compliance with my orders of the day previous, to move upon Centreville at the earliest dawn, and stated to him the position of the forces, and that a severe battle would undoubtedly be fought during the morning of the 29th. The only apprehension I had at that time was that Jackson might attempt to retreat to the north in the direction of Leesburg, and, for the purpose of preventing this, I directed Kearny to keep closely in contact with him during